Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 24 October 2023, 13:13 NZDT
  • Still current at: 26 February 2024

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COVID-19

If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here, alongside our destination specific travel advice below. 

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in France due to the ongoing threat of terrorism (level 2 of 4).

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France

Terrorism
A heightened threat of terrorism remains throughout France, with a number of serious and particularly violent attacks in the past:

-    On 13 October 2023, an individual stabbed and killed a teacher in a school in Arras, northern France and injured three others.

-    On 29 October 2020, an individual killed three people in a knife attack in Notre Dame Basilica in Nice.

-    On 4 April 2020, an individual carried out a knife attack in Romans-sur-Isère, killing two people and injuring five others.

-    On 3 January 2020, an individual carried out a knife attack outside of Paris killing one person and injuring 2 others.

-    On 24 May 2019, three people were arrested after the explosion of a package bomb in a shopping area of Lyon, injuring 13 people.

-    On 11 December 2018, an individual carried out an attack at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, killing 3 people and injuring 12 others.

-    On 14 July 2016, a truck drove into a large crowd at Bastille Day celebrations in Nice killing 86 people and injuring 434 others.

-    On 13 November 2015, coordinated attacks took place across six different locations in Paris, killing 130 people and injuring over 350 others.

Terrorist groups, individuals returning to Europe from areas of conflict, and individuals adhering to various forms of extremist ideologies, continue to make threats to conduct attacks in France and across Europe. Groups adhering to various ideologies have conducted attacks in the past. French authorities continue to make arrests of terrorism suspects. Heightened vigilance is recommended due to the ongoing risk.

Additional security measures and tighter border controls are now the norm, particularly in popular tourist areas and transport hubs. Public gatherings and access to tourist sites are subject to security controls.

New Zealanders in France are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. Follow any instructions issued by the local authorities and exercise a high degree of vigilance in public places, including at tourist sites, places of worship, restaurants and bars, shopping areas, sporting and cultural events and transport hubs.   

Small-scale attacks by a local independence movement in Corsica cannot be discounted.  While government buildings are usually the target of these attacks, there is the potential for foreigners to be incidentally harmed.  

Civil Unrest
Demonstrations and protests occur frequently in France and often impact on transport hubs and networks, which may in turn disrupt travel plans. Some protests can turn violent, such as those that occurred near Paris and in other urban areas in June 2023, and may lead to arson, vandalism and the destruction of private property. New Zealanders are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests and rallies where there is significant policy activity, monitor the media, and follow the advice issued by local authorities.  Depending on how protests escalate, police may use water cannons, rubber bullets or tear gas to disperse demonstrations.

Crime
Petty crime such as bag snatching and pick pocketing is common in France, particularly in and around major cities and tourist sites, airports and railway stations, hotel lobbies, public areas, and on public transport.  Thieves of all age groups often work together and may distract victims and rob them while their attention is diverted.

While violent crime towards foreigners is not common, foreigners may be the targets of opportunistic crime, such as robbery, pickpocketing and assault. Travellers are frequently targeted on the RER-B suburban trains to/from Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, at the Paris Gare du Nord Eurostar/Thalys train station, and the Paris metro.

We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and to never leave belongings unattended, even for brief periods. Theft from vehicles is also common, particularly unattended vehicles, but also at traffic lights, and rest stops and service stations on highways.

General Travel Advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in France should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

You must be able to prove your identity either by showing a valid document (e.g. passport) when asked by an officer of the law or within 4 hours at a police station.

It is illegal to fully cover your face in public places in France, and failure to comply could result in a large fine or detainment. There is no exemption for tourists or for religious reasons.

New Zealanders in France are encouraged to register their contact details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

Travel tips


The New Zealand Embassy Paris, France

Street Address 103, rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France Telephone +33 1 45 01 43 43 Alternate Telephone Lost/Stolen Passports: +44 (20) 7968 2730 Emergency Telephone In France: 01 45 01 43 43, from abroad: +33 1 45 01 43 43. For consular emergencies after-hours +64 99 20 20 20 Email embassy.nz.fr@gmail.com Web Site https://www.mfat.govt.nz/br/countries-and-regions/europe/france/new-zealand-embassy/ Hours Mon 10:30-13:00, 14:00-17:00, Tues-Fri 09:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00

See our regional advice for Europe

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New Zealand Embassy France

Street Address
103, rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France

Telephone: +33 1 45 01 43 43

Alternate Telephone: Lost/Stolen Passports: +44 (20) 7968 2730

Emergency Telephone: In France: 01 45 01 43 43, from abroad: +33 1 45 01 43 43. For consular emergencies after-hours +64 99 20 20 20

Email: embassy.nz.fr@gmail.com

Website: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/br/countries-and-regions/europe/france/new-zealand-embassy/

Hours: Mon 10:30-13:00, 14:00-17:00, Tues-Fri 09:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00

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