Is it safe to travel to France? Latest advice on how strikes will affect UK travellers

IS it safe to travel across the pond with French strikes currently causing havoc to the country’s travel systems.

Here is everything we know.

 France is currently gripped by the largest national strike its ever experienced


France is currently gripped by the largest national strike its ever experiencedCredit: Getty – Contributor

Is it safe to travel to France?

According to the Foreign Office, with the current strikes in France it should be okay to travel there as long as you follow a few steps.

They say the strikes will affect transport and public services – anyone travelling to France should check their planned transport routes well ahead of time.

They advise to keep away from any demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities when out-and-about.

 Strikes have broken out in France following a controversial pension reform


Strikes have broken out in France following a controversial pension reformCredit: AFP or licensors

What are the French Strikes about?

The French strikes have broken out following a controversial pension reform by president, Emmanuel Macron.

Unions agreed to take industrial action after it was revealed that pensions in France would operate on a points system in an attempt to level out post-retirement benefits among professions.

The basic idea is that employees would earn “points” for each day worked, which would later turn into pension benefits upon retirement.

Currently, France’s pension system is not unified and it means certain professions – like lawyers and opera workers – retire with cushy pensions.

Macron’s new system aims to rectify this but it also means that those retiring before the age of 64 would lose out.

 The strikes have caused mass transport delays


The strikes have caused mass transport delaysCredit: Reuters

Someone retiring in France at age 63 under the new scheme would receive five per cent less than someone retiring one year later.

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France’s current system is one of the most expensive in the world, and taking into account people living much longer these days, costs are only set to increase.

But workers on both ends of the scale argue that a singular scheme fails to accommodate for individual’s working lives.

Metro workers, for instance, have a long-negotiated early retirement as compensation for the gruelling work, long hours and endless shifts spent underground.

Thousands of workers from all sectors are taking part, including airport staff, transport workers, police, lawyers and hospital staff.

Will the Eurostar or flights be affected?

Flights are likely to be delayed – 233 flights were cancelled earlier in the week.

Disruption and even cancellation of Eurostar is likely, between London St. Pancras and Gare Du Nord.

You can find all the latest on flight cancellations here and Eurostar here.

Eurostar passengers stranded at St Pancras International station following French customs workers strike
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