- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Additional Information
- Local Laws and Customs
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
High Degree of Caution
Latest Travel Alert
Citizens should exercise caution in any decisions about international travel, taking account of their overall health, their vaccine status, and the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 while abroad. Anyone considering travelling abroad should be aware that restrictions are subject to change at short notice, and additional restrictions may be imposed by the country of your destination, including during your visit.
Travel to France
There are no COVID-19 restrictions in place for travel to France from Ireland. There is no requirement to present certificates of vaccination/testing for COVID-19 or to complete a Passenger Locator Form.
Transiting through France
If you are transiting a French airport and remain airside, you are only obliged to carry the documentation required for your final destination. Please refer to the website of the French Embassy in Dublin and of the French Foreign Ministry, for full information in French and in English.
COVID-related restrictions in France
France’s vaccine pass has been suspended for all locations where it was previously required.
The obligation to wear a mask indoors has also been lifted. It is recommended to wear a mask on public transport, but it is not compulsory.
Please see the French Government’s website for full, up to date information on restrictions. Please note, however, that these may vary across regions, with detailed information on your local prefecture’s website.
Travel to Overseas Territories
Each overseas territory sets its own entry conditions and may be subject to specific local restrictions. You are advised to check the website of the relevant local authorities for up to date information. Declarations for travel to or from an overseas territory available on the site of the Ministry of the Interior. Further information is available on the French Foreign Ministry’s website.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
France is currently experiencing severe wildfires in the South West of the country.
Irish citizens in France should carefully monitor the news as the situation can change quickly. You should follow the advice of local authorities and be prepared to change your travel plans at short notice. If you are near a wildfire, call the emergency number 112.
Take particular care to avoid engaging in any action that may contribute to the risk of forest fires when outdoors. You should dispose of your rubbish and cigarette butts correctly and safely, and avoid using any open flames. You should also take standard fire safety precautions, including keeping away from fires and complying with restrictions on entry to any areas where there is a risk of fire.
Following previous attacks, the French state considers the risk of a terrorist attack to be permanently high. France is currently on Level Two of a three level alert system for terrorist attacks.
We advise Irish citizens to maintain an awareness of their surroundings, remain vigilant, and in the event of a security incident to follow the advice of local authorities.
There is an ongoing risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates. Due to the ongoing threat of indiscriminate terrorist attacks,the French Government has reinforced its security measures and advised the public to exercise a higher level of vigilance. We advise all citizens to maintain an awareness of their surroundings, remain vigilant and to follow the security advice issued by the French authorities. See the French government's advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs.
As part of the Government's Vigipirate security programme, there is a highly visible police and army presence in cities and near main tourist attractions. Many museums, galleries and tourist attractions have security screening programmes in place and you may be asked to present your bags for inspection before being admitted.
Irish citizens in France are reminded that they should be in possession of a valid form of photographic identification such as a passport or passport card at all times.
Any minor travelling without a parent must carry specific documentation. Please find here information on travel requirements for unaccompanied minors travelling from France, which applies to Irish citizens ordinarily resident in France.
You can contact the emergency services in France by dialling 112. Irish citizens in France are reminded that they should be in possession of a valid form of photographic identification such as a passport or passport card at all times.
The political situation in France is reasonably stable but there can be occasional outbreaks of social unrest. Strikes, marches and demonstrations often result in confrontation between the demonstrators and the riot police so we recommend that you avoid areas where large-scale demonstrations are taking place.
Always keep yourself informed of what is going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.
Crime remains relatively low in France but you should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- Bring photocopies of your passport when travelling and leave one your accommodation
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible
See the latest advice and information in English from the French police on Staying Safe In Paris.
If you are a victim of a crime while in France, report it to the local police station ‘commissariat’ or gendarmerie immediately. Learn more about what to do if your passport is lost/stolen. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Paris if you need help.
The French authorities have recently introduced new regulations regarding unaccompanied minors travelling from France, which applies to citizens ordinarily resident in France. See details here.
Periodic transport and air traffic control strikes across France have been affecting rail, taxi/Uber and air travel across France as well as Paris metro and bus services. Check with your travel provider or airline for the latest updates. You can find real time information on rail traffic on the SNCF website and on Paris metro and bus systems on the RATP website.
If you’re planning to drive in France, remember that traffic travels on the right. If you’re not used to driving on the right, be extra cautious, particularly at junctions, where traffic coming from the right has priority.
If you want to drive:
•Bring your international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance. You must be at least 18 to drive in France and learner permits are not valid.
•Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught.
•Be aware of France’s traffic laws, such as speed limits. Speed cameras are common and the French police are vigilant.
•Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights.
Air Quality Certificate
The French authorities have announced a new Air Quality Certificate system to classify vehicles based on air pollutant emission levels and is mandatory for all vehicles in Paris, Grenoble and Lyon. The newly-introduced system requires all motorised vehicles to display a Crit'Air sticker - including foreign-registered vehicles. www.certificat-air.gouv.fr
The sticker system has been introduced to reduce the emissions output in larger cities, so on days where certain cities are at risk of reaching their Euro emissions limit, heavily polluting vehicles can be refused entrance based on the Crit'Air sticker they are displaying on the windscreen.
If you are planning to drive in France you can apply online to get the required sticker which will cost €4.80 for foreign registered vehicles. Payment can be made online and the sticker will be posted. Classifications are based on the age of your vehicle and the system applies to all vehicles, cars, motorbikes and trucks. The French authorities advise that motorists driving without the Crit'Air certificate may receive an on-the-spot fine from €68 up to €135.
Follow the traffic laws carefully as there are stiff penalties for breaking the law. These can range from an on-the-spot fine, to confiscation of your driving licence, to imprisonment (for serious offences such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or negligent driving).
If your licence is confiscated, you won’t be allowed to continue driving and your vehicle will be impounded unless another fully-licensed driver is available to drive it.
Theft from vehicles
This is common, particularly in the south of France, so keep your doors locked, windows rolled up and valuables out of sight while driving and parked. In some tourist areas along the south coast, it’s common to remove the parcel shelf so that potential thieves can see that there’s nothing worth stealing in the boot.
Mobile homes and camper-vans have also been targeted by thieves so make sure you take appropriate steps such as an alarm or using a safety-deposit box to protect your belongings there.
Since 2012, you’re legally obligated to have a single use breathalyser in your vehicle, (this includes motorcycles). Buy a kit that complies with French regulations and carries the ‘NF’ label. We advise you to carry at least two breathalysers at all times.
You must carry a red reflective warning triangle and a high-visibility vest in your vehicle at all times. There are frequently police checkpoints at the exits of the major ferry ports to check whether drivers have the required safety equipment, so make sure your vehicle is stocked before you travel to France. If you can’t produce this safety equipment at an accident or breakdown scene or during a police inspection, you could be liable for a fine.
You must display the warning triangle 30 metres from your vehicle in case of a break-down or accident (except in the case of a break-down on a motorway where it’s not safe to walk back 30 metres – in this case, place the triangle a reasonable distance from your vehicle, taking into account safety considerations).
You must carry the high-visibility vest in the main body of your vehicle (not in the boot). You need to wear the vest in case of a break-down at any time and must put it on before you get out of your vehicle.
High traffic season
The traditional French summer holiday periods sees extremely heavy traffic on the weekends of 7 July, 14 July, 4 August, 11 August and 18 August. Allow plenty of extra time and take regular breaks on your journey on these weekends, particularly on routes connecting Paris to the south.
There can be severe traffic jams on the motorways so always make sure you have enough fuel, and refuel regularly, as it may take longer than you think to reach the next service station.
These French websites have colour-coded maps and graphics that can be understood by non-French speakers so they may help you plan your journey:
Failing to stop and help a third party in difficulty, if you witness an incident (on the road or elsewhere) is an offence in France. If you need to stop on the roadside to help someone, you must put on your high-visibility vest before leaving your own vehicle.
You should only use properly licensed and marked taxis. Beware of people claiming to be taxi drivers who often tout for business at the arrivals areas in airports, train stations or at major bus stations – registered taxi drivers are not allowed to solicit business in this way.
Drivers of unlicensed taxis frequently don’t respect rules on fares and, more importantly, will not have undergone security and police checks that are compulsory for registered taxi drivers. There have been recent cases of assaults on foreign tourists by unlicensed taxi drivers so if you’re in any doubt, don’t use the service.
Licensed taxis are marked by a white roof sign and the driver's professional identity card is displayed on the left-hand side of the windscreen. A meter will be visible in the centre of the dashboard and there will be a sticker in the left rear window setting out the main rules governing taxis and fares.
If you’re a truck driver, make sure you are familiar with French traffic regulations, particularly details on when you can or can’t use the motorways.
Paris and many other cities now have public bicycle-rental schemes. As a cyclist, you’re not allowed to cycle on the footpaths unless a cycle lane is marked as part of the path. Obey all relevant traffic rules and take appropriate safety precautions, particularly if you’re not familiar with cycling on the right-hand side of the road. Avoid cycling if you’re under the influence of alcohol.
All cyclists must wear a high-visibility vest when cycling outside urban areas at night.
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
We’re aware of various websites offering car-sharing possibilities but we can’t vouch for the validity of these companies. Any decision to avail of such services is taken at your own risk.
If you’re travelling by train, make sure your luggage is clearly marked with your name and never leave it unattended. Many left-luggage offices in train stations have been closed for security reasons so try and confirm their availability beforehand or make other arrangements.
Some overnight inter-city trains have been targeted by thieves. On metros and trains, take particular care of your belongings when the doors are closing, as opportunistic thieves on the platform have been known to snatch passengers’ bags just as the train doors close.
Eurostar operates from Paris, Lille, Calais and Brussels to London St Pancras. Bookings are through www.eurostar.com or (from within France – premium rates apply) 0892-353539.
You can book trains from within France through www.voyages-sncf.com.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties. If you are found in possession of illegal drugs or smuggled goods, you can be held in pre-trial detention for the period of the investigation (which can last for several months or even years). If your vehicle was carrying illegal drugs or smuggled goods, French Customs can impound it for the investigation period.
Buying property in France
If you’re planning to buy property in France, we strongly advise you to consult an independent legal advisor from the beginning of the process. Be aware that as a property owner, you may be liable for annual taxes on the value of your property.
The Embassy cannot advise you on buying property or intervene in property disputes.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
European Health Insurance Card
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.
The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.
Aedes Albopictus (Tiger Mosquito)
The Aedes albopictus, more commonly known as tiger mosquito, is present in south-western and south-eastern regions of France, as well as Alsace, Vendée and the Paris metropolitan area. The aedes albopictus is considered capable of carrying diseases such as dengue, zika, chikunguya or West Nile virus. However, the vast majority of cases of these diseases detected in France were contracted outside of the country, with only a very small number of locally-transmitted cases of dengue, West Nile virus and chikunguya detected in southern France. Travellers are encouraged to consider adopting sensible precautions such as using an insect repellent where mosquitos might be present.
Please note that if you require urgent assistance while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, 0033(0) 1 44 17 67 00, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox.
This mailbox will be monitored regularly.
Embassy of Ireland
12 ave Foch
(entrance 4 rue Rude)
Monday to Friday 09:30am - 12:00pm
Honorary Consulate Contact
Mr. Pierre Joannon
Honorary Consulate General of Ireland
69, avenue du Roi Albert
Tel: + 33 6 77 69 14 36
Email: Email us
Honorary Consulate Contact
Mr. Ole Gregre Bockmann
Honorary Consul of Ireland
Gare Maritime Sud
Email: Email us
Honorary Consulate Contact
Mr. Kevin McGreevy
Honorary Consul of Ireland
8, rue des Trente-Six Ponts
Tel: +33 6 49 73 82 68
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.