Official Global Travel Advisory
Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
As foreign governments implement strict travel restrictions and as fewer international transportation options are available, you may have difficulty returning to Canada or may have to remain abroad for an indeterminate period.
If you are outside of Canada:
- you may have difficulty obtaining essential products and services
- you may face strict movement restrictions and quarantines
- your insurance may not cover your travel or medical expenses
- we may have limited capacity to offer you consular services.
If you are currently outside Canada or you are returning home, see COVID-19 safety and security advice for Canadians abroad.
If you need financial help to return to Canada, see COVID-19: Financial help for Canadians outside Canada.
Avoid all cruise ship travel due to COVID-19.
France Register Travel insurance Destinations
Last updated: ET
Still valid: ET
Latest updates: Safety and security - Removal of the self-declaration form requirement for trips farther than 100 km
COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
France - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in France due to the current elevated threat of terrorism.
Safety and security
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
Preventative measures and restrictions are in place and may vary depending on the department or city.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing
- Avoid crowded areas
The use of a face covering might be mandatory in some public spaces.
If you violate movement restrictions, you could be fined for endangering public health.
Demonstrations take place regularly. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
“Black bloc” protestors have been known to use aggressive and violent tactics during demonstrations to cause destruction and to provoke police forces. Participants have thrown rocks, smoke grenades, bottles and other debris during rallies. Police have employed tear gas in response.
Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
Follow the instructions of local authorities
Monitor local media for the latest information
Yellow vest movement
The yellow vest movement remains active in Paris and in several other parts of the country. Demonstrations occur sporadically in cities, mainly on Saturdays. Acts of vandalism and violence have occurred.
Traffic disruptions have also occurred due to strategic attempts to block transport routes such as roads, train stations and airports. Disruption of public services and closure of various sites usually open to the public (for example, businesses, museums, tourist attractions) have also taken place.
Petty crimes, such as pickpocketing, and purse and mobile phone snatching, occur mainly in large cities and the following areas:
- major tourist areas
- department stores
- transportation hubs
- public transportation
The number of pickpocketing incidents has increased significantly since the beginning of 2019, especially in Paris. Thieves, who are often children under the age of 16, employ a number of tactics to distract tourists. They operate both on foot and on motorcycle. These thieves are very skilled and often work in groups.
- Be vigilant when approached by strangers.
- Limit the use of mobile phones while taking public transportation and while travelling in crowded and touristic areas, to avoid attracting attention and to ensure you remain aware of your surroundings
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
- Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.
- Ensure that your credit and debit cards, cash and any other financial resources are not all kept in the same place.
- Never leave your bags unsupervised at a ticket office or a registration desk.
There have been reports of incidents of violent theft on tourists by groups of young people. These usually take place around major tourist attractions and railway stations in Paris, the trains (RER) connecting Paris to its suburbs and at main railway stations in other large cities.
On the road
There is a high frequency of vehicle break-ins. Theft of parked cars or their contents is particularly common on beach roads in the south of France and at highway rest stops throughout the country, especially during the summer, when there are a high number of travellers.
- Leave nothing in view in the vehicle. Above all, do not leave valuable objects, passports and other travel documents, money or credit cards anywhere in a vehicle.
- Use secure parking facilities where available, especially overnight.
- Be particularly vigilant when renting automobiles, as rented vehicles are a target of choice.
Drivers are often tricked by thieves into stopping their cars by thieves who either obstruct the road or distract the driver (for example, by flashing their headlights). They may also pretend that you have a flat tire (which they sometimes puncture themselves). Once the vehicle is stopped, the thieves seize the opportunity to steal a bag or other valuable objects. Aggravated thefts sometimes occur at isolated rest stops along highways.
- Be especially vigilant when stopped at traffic lights, as bags are often snatched from the front passenger seat by thieves travelling on scooters.
- Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times.
Victims of crime
If you are robbed, go to the nearest commissariat de police (police station) to report the crime. They will provide you with a declaration of theft. Keep a copy of this document, as you will need it if you wish to make an insurance claim. If the theft occurred in the metro, a metro agent can direct you to the nearest police station.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities. In France, separate attacks causing multiple deaths and injuries have taken place. The attacks, whether opportunistic or premeditated, targeted public spaces, including an entertainment venue, restaurants and tourist sites. Further attacks in Europe are likely.
Attacks can occur anywhere, including:
- government buildings and those of local authorities
- places of worship
- places dedicated to culture, such as exhibition galleries, museums, concert halls and theatres
- airports, railway stations and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, monuments, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Be particularly vigilant if attending large gatherings such as sporting events and religious celebrations or other public celebrations. Terrorists have used such occasions to carry out attacks.
Expect increased security measures and police/military presence at all points of entry (road, rail, sea and air) and in public areas.
More information about the terrorist threat in France - France’s Department of Interior (in French only)
Vigipirate alert system
Vigipirate is a French government threat alert system. The system is in place to protect the country’s population, infrastructure and institutions, and to prepare response measures in the case of attack.
Current terrorism threat alert level in France - Vigipirate (in French only)
Fraud is committed with credit card and ATM usage in France. Be careful when using your debit or credit card.
- Be vigilant when your cards are handled by other people for a payment.
- Use ATMs in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business.
- Avoid card readers with an irregular aspect.
- Cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN.
- Check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements.
Roads in France are well maintained. Drive defensively and obey traffic regulations. Excessive speeding poses a risk.
Public transportation both within and between major cities is reliable.
Use only officially marked taxis. Do not share them with strangers.
Transportation strikes occur and can cause delays in public transportation.
- Contact your transportation carrier for up-to-date information and monitor local news.
Towns and ski resorts may be snowed in and roads made impassable after heavy snowfalls. There is a risk of avalanches and some have resulted in deaths.
If you intend to do mountaineering or skiing:
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
Information on mountain conditions - National association for the study of snow and avalanches (in French only)
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions
In an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions for their territory. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel. Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions related to this situation.
Restrictions imposed could include:
- Entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- Exit bans
- Quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, regardless of where you are arriving from
- Health screenings
- Border closures
- Airport closures
- Flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
- Suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options
Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
- Monitor the media for the latest information
- Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Foreign diplomatic offices in Canada – Global Affairs Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the French authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Detailed information on documents required to enter France – France's Public Service (in French only)
France is a Schengen area country. Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Temporary border controls
The French government has reintroduced domestic border controls at certain border crossings. Canadians may be required to pass through controls when entering France, even if arriving from another Schengen area country.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Long-stay or residency visa: Required for stays longer than 90 days
Work permit: Required
Student visa: Required for stays longer than 90 days
Children and travel
To leave France, any child under the age of 18 who normally resides in France must be accompanied by at least one parent. Children travelling without at least one parent must be in possession of an authorization to leave the country signed by one of the parents, as well as a photocopy of the signing parent’s identification.
- More information and a copy of the authorization to leave the country form - French administration service (in French only)
- More about travelling with children
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - April 19, 2020
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
- Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country.
- It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
- It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.
- Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
- A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
- Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)?
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In Corsica, there is a risk of schistosomiasis. Avoid exposure to freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds) in this area.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- In this country, dengue fever may occur sporadically. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Good medical care is widely available in France. You may be required to pay in advance, especially if you do not have travel insurance.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Canada and France are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in France to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and French authorities.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in France.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of France, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
You must carry your passport (or a photocopy) at all times. You may be subject to identity checks when you’re in France.
Keep photocopies or digital copies of the following documents, in case of loss or seizure:
- the identification page of your passport
- your birth certificate
- your Canadian citizenship card
- your driver’s licence
Keep originals and copies in separate safe locations.
It is illegal to cover your face in public places in France, including in the international arrivals area at airports. Failure to comply can lead to a heavy fine. There are no exemptions for tourists or for religious reasons.
More about the law prohibiting face coverings in public places - French administration service (in French)
You must be at least 18 years old to drive a car in France.
You should carry an International Driving Permit.
Speed limits and other driving regulations may be strictly enforced through heavy, on-the-spot fines and the confiscation of a driver’s licence. Numerous roadside cameras have been installed to help enforce traffic regulations. Radar detection systems are prohibited.
Traffic must yield to vehicles entering an intersection from the right even if they are entering from smaller roads.
In general, traffic in a roundabout has priority over vehicles trying to enter it (that is, priority switches to vehicles from the left).
Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05%.
A reflective vest and warning triangle are mandatory in all vehicles.
- More information about road travel in France - European Commission
- More about the International Driving Permit
The currency of France is the euro (EUR).
Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are widely available.
Upon entering or leaving the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs if you have €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.
Information on cash controls - European Commission
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
In mountainous regions, avalanches present a risk and have resulted in fatalities. If you are planning on skiing or mountaineering, stay informed of weather and safety conditions, and follow the advice carefully.
Know the avalanche risk levels – French administration (French only)
Additional information on mountain conditions - National association for the study of snow and avalanches (in French only)
Floods sometimes occur. The French government maintains a water level forecast service, Vigicrues.
- Be vigilant
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media.
Latest information about water levels (vigicrues) - France's Department of Ecological Transition and Solidarity (site in French only)
Forest fires often occur during the summer months, particularly on the Mediterranean coast and in Corsica.
The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke. In case of a major fire:
- stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
- follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Dial 17 to connect to the police.
Please call the consulates before visiting them.
Paris - Embassy of Canada
Lyon - Consulate of Canada
Toulouse - Consulate of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Paris and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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