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France

Overview

[Updated] Travel Notice

31 July 2019
Protests linked to the Gilet Jaune (Yellow Vest) as well as other movements are likely to continue across France especially during the weekends. They can take the form of undeclared demonstrations and marches, especially in town centres. Traffic disruptions, clashes between protesters and police, vandalism and other violent behaviour may occur.

France also remains at risk of terrorist attacks. France’s national security alert system – Vigipirate, is currently at a threat level of “Heightened Security/Risk of Attack” (Tier 2). Security measures such as increased surveillance and bag checks at transportation hubs, shopping centres, major tourist attractions, schools and government buildings are in place.  
 
Singaporeans, who are either travelling to or already in France, are advised to monitor the media and exercise caution. They should avoid large gatherings and demonstrations, heed the instructions of local authorities, and be vigilant in crowded and popular tourist areas as well as transportation hubs. Due to possible disruptions of traffic circulation and public transport, they are also advised to allow for more time to get from one place to another.
 
Singaporeans are also encouraged to eRegister with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ so that we may contact you should the need arise. You are also advised to purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage. Singaporeans are also advised to stay in touch with your family and friends so that they know you are safe. Those in need of consular assistance may contact the Singapore Embassy in Paris or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at:
 
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in France
16 rue Murillo, 75008 Paris, France
Tel: +33 6 75 03 25 55
Email: singemb_par@mfa.sg
 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hours)
Tanglin, Singapore 248163
Tel: +65 6379 8800 or 8855
Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg

 

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France was placed under a state of emergency following the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. The state of emergency was extended six times until 1 November 2017, when it was replaced by a new set of counter-terrorism laws, which provide law enforcement agencies more authority to, inter alia, conduct searches and establish extra security measures for certain places. Although France is no longer technically under a state of emergency, we advise Singaporeans travelling or living in France to take the necessary precautions and exercise personal responsibility at all times.

France is part of the Schengen Area and Singaporeans are allowed visa-free entry for short stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period, provided that no employment is sought.  Passports should be valid for at least three months from your planned date of departure from the Schengen Area. As visa requirements often change at short notice, we advise you to contact your travel agency, or the French Embassy in Singapore for up-to-date information.

Please note that Singaporeans can only apply for French visas from the relevant French embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of residence. It is not possible to arrive in France on a short-term visa and seek to convert this into an employment or student visa thereafter.

As a general rule, all foreign nationals entering France must be able to produce documentary evidence of the reasons for their stay, their means of support, and accommodation arrangements.

Singaporeans travelling or living in France should exercise a high degree of caution and take all necessary precautions to ensure their personal safety, including purchasing travel insurance. Those visiting crowded and popular tourist areas (such as museums, monuments, shopping areas and public transportation) should be particularly attentive. They should also monitor the news and other sources for updates on local conditions.

Terrorism: France’s national security alert system – Vigipirate, has a three-tiered threat level as outlined below. The current threat level is “Heightened Security/Risk of Attack” (Tier 2). 

3. Attack Emergency - Vigilance and maximum protection in the event of an imminent threat of a terrorist act or directly after an attack.
2. Heightened Security / Risk of Attack – Confronted with a high level of terrorist threat.
1. Vigilance 

Security measures such as increased surveillance and bag checks at transportation hubs, shopping centres, major tourist attractions, schools and government buildings are in place.

Crime: Petty crime such as theft, pick-pocketing and tourist scams are increasingly common.  Singaporeans are advised to be vigilant and keep their belongings close to them at all times, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. The Paris Prefecture de Police publishes a useful guide on how visitors can avoid commonly-encountered petty crimes (https://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/English/Advice/Advice/Advice-for-tourists-FAQ).

Demonstrations: Public demonstrations and strikes for political, social, or economic reasons occur regularly in France. They may sometimes affect traffic and public transportation. Singaporeans are advised to avoid large crowds and demonstration areas.   

Floods: Floods occur occasionally, and can be monitored from the flood forecast service Vigicrues (www.vigicrues.gouv.fr). In the event of a flood, heed the advice of local emergency services and avoid these areas.

The French Alps: The French Alps, which are located in the Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions, are a popular destination for hiking, mountaineering and winter sports. Research thoroughly on weather conditions, routes, and access to emergency services if planning to engage in these activities. Do not move off marked trails. Purchase comprehensive travel insurance that includes cover for medical evacuation.

Forest Fires: Forest fires can occur during the summer months, particularly on the Mediterranean coast and in Corsica. In the event of a major fire, heed the advice of local emergency services and stay away from affected areas. Monitor local news for updates.

All visitors and residents are subject to French laws and penalties. Research on local laws prior to arrival, especially for extended stays. Do note the following laws that can affect your visit or stay:

  1. All persons are required to carry a form of identification on them at all times. This could be a residence permit for long-stayers or passport for visitors.

  2. Concealing the face in public places is illegal in France. For example, avoid using balaclavas, full veils, or masks to cover the face. Failure to comply could lead to fines.

  3. It is illegal to fly a drone, even for recreational purposes, in many parts of France. A map of no-fly zones can be found on https://www.geoportail.gouv.fr/donnees/restrictions-pour-drones-de-loisir

Driving in France: Tourists who intend to drive in France should obtain an International Driving Permit prior to their arrival. For long-stayers, the Singapore driving licence may be converted to a French permis de conduire within one year of the driver’s arrival in France. Documentary requirements for the conversion may be obtained from the nearest Prefecture de Police. Do not leave your passport or valuables unattended in vehicles.

Overseas Travel - Be Safe and Be Informed [29 May 2019] 

In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorism. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.

Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.

In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and to heed advice of the local authorities. 

For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

  • Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
  • Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
  • eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sgso that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

While travelling

  • Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
  • Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
  • Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters or terror attacks.
  • Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.

In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/8855.

 

Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]

There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas.  These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance.  The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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