In March massive protests swept across Paris due to the 10th general strike called by union members. Somewhere between 750,000 and 2 million workers joined the demonstrations. More businesses closed their doors and transit systems were disrupted. Even popular tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower were closed. Amid this strife and tension, many travelers are wondering whether or not they should make travel plans to France.
As of July 2, 2023, the pension strikes appear to be over. However, they’ve been replaced by protests of another kind. Following the fatal shooting death of an African teenager by police, protesters within Paris and beyond have taken to the streets. Widespread fires, looting and fights have been reported. Here are some of the most common questions international travelers ask about the political unrest in Paris.
Is Paris Safe Right Now?
On June 29, the US State Department issued a security alert covering France regarding the fallout from the fatal shooting of an African teenager by law enforcement. However, there have been no official travela advisories warning against traveling to Paris. In fact, many touristy locales like the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower have been unimpacted by the protests. However, it is important to keep in mind that current visits may be impacted by the protests, particularly in regards to transportation and curfews. Bus and tram service disruptions have been reported and a few towns have implemented nightly curfews in effort to stem the violence.
What Do the Paris Strikes and Protests Mean for Travel?
It’s important to be aware that recent protests in Paris have resulted in violent clashes with law enforcement, and thousands of people have taken to the streets. Despite these circumstances, there are currently no official travel warnings issued for France. However, visitors should exercise caution and closely monitor the situation for any updates prior to traveling. It is crucial to stay informed and take appropriate measures to ensure personal safety and avoid any potential risks.
Does Travel Insurance Cover Paris Protests?
Most trip insurance policies typically don’t cover trip cancellations due to civil unrest, government regulations or bans, or even declared or undeclared wars. However, with Cancel For Any Reason coverage, which you can add on to certain trip insurance policies, you may be able to cancel your trip and be reimbursed for certain prepaid nonrefundable travel expenses like hotel deposits and rental fees. However, most policies will require you to cancel no later than three days before your trip.
Similarly, if you have Interruption For Any Reason coverage, you may be able to cut your trip short and be reimbursed for any unused non-refundable travel costs, like unused days at a hotel or unused event tickets. If protests and other forms of political unrest erupt while you are already on vacation, some policies may cover costs related to emergency evacuations.
While flights to France are still taking off daily, it’s understandable that some travelers may be hesitant to visit the country right now. In the end, travelers need to prioritize their safety. Protests can dwindle or escalate in a moment’s notice. Amid all the uncertainty brought on by the Paris protests, it’s best to keep an eye on the news, watch for security alerts, and know that if you do decide to stay home, the City of Lights will be there to welcome you when you’re ready.