Violent protests in Paris; Is it safe for tourists?

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A pink smoke bomb and tears gas during the protest of may 1st 2017, in Paris. A lot of protesters and journalists. | Source: Unsplash
A pink smoke bomb and tears gas during the protest of may 1st 2017, in Paris. A lot of protesters and journalists. | Source: Unsplash

Lately, Paris, one of the world’s most lovable destinations has risen to the limelight. However, it is not all good in the city. Violent riots in Paris have risen against the government that leads to the question of the safety of tourists wanting to travel to the city.

According to The New York Times, a group of protestors known as the Yellow Vests,  comprising largely of the working-class are responsible for the riots in Paris and across France. The agitated protestors have put up a fight against the government regarding a forthcoming rise in fuel tax and several other economic issues.

They have been burning down cars and looting the most luxurious streets of Paris, since the past three weeks. The protestors intend to continue the riots for another week according to their website.

A report published by INEWS, UK revealed that over 100 people have been injured as a result of the riots in Paris. The police have rounded up a total of 412 protestors as on December 03, 2018. Reportedly, three have been killed in the riots.

As of now, museums, shops and metros have all reopened. However, the continuation of possibly violent protests could result in the shutdown of transportation and other services.

With the on-going riots in Paris, how safe is it for travellers?

Visitors can regularly update themselves by following the Twitter and Facebook handle of French Police – Prefecture de Police.

The Foreign Office has advised tourists to stay clear of riots in Paris and across France. The UK FCO or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Britain’s December 5th update on France notes:

“Protests against fuel prices continue across France, leading to blocked roads and motorways in some areas. You should avoid where possible and follow the advice of the authorities.”

Reaction from the Indian government

According to Indian Express, the Indian Embassy in France has received a message from the French externals affairs ministry stating that the rules remain unchanged for Indians entering the French territory and Schengen area for a period less than 3 months.

Meanwhile, strict security measures have been taken at the border. The ministry has clearly stated that upon arrival, Indian nationals will be checked for proof of short stay. They must carry documents such as proof of accommodation, return ticket, insurance and funds. The aforementioned condition is valid even if Indians nationals have entered the Schengen zone through a country other than France.

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