Security and health

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to France. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.

It is strongly recommended that Australian travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before their departure. They should confirm that their insurance covers them for the whole time they will be away and check what circumstances and activities are / are not included in their policy.

It is also recommended that Australian travellers register your travel and contact details, before travelling, on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, to provide greater protection in case of an emergency.

Security

Following the bombings in London in July 2005, the French Government heightened security measures across a range of public venues including airports, train stations, local public transport systems, government ministries, popular tourist sites and foreign embassies and consulates across the country. The French police are also conducting random identity checks, particularly at border crossings. Personal identification (eg. passport) must be carried at all times in France. Some simple safety tips include:

  • Avoid walking around alone late at night – especially in out of the way places
  • Don’t carry all your valuables with you
  • Don’t leave your money or credit cards lying around on a table, on a bar or in a hire car
  • Keep your bags within sight
  • Beware of pick-pockets and bag thieves on crowded trains or buses, and in heavy tourist areas, especially in central Paris and the other big cities

Health

The tap water in France is safe to drink and no special vaccinations are required.

In case of an emergency:

  • Dial 15 for medical assistance
  • Dial 18 in case of fire
  • Dial 17 for the police office closest to your location

The American Hospital of Paris has an emergency department and English-speaking staff. Doctors’ consultation fees must be paid immediately after the visit and are typically in the range of €30-70.

Chemists are identified by a green neon cross and a serpent sign – pharmacists are trained and can legally sell medicine that would require a prescription in other countries. The Pharmacie des Champs is open 24-hours and has English-speaking staff.

Contact details:

American Hospital of Paris
63, Boulevard Victor Hugo
922000 Neuilly-sur-Seine
Tel: 01 46 41 25 25

Pharmacie des Champs
84, avenue des Champs-Elysées
75008 Paris
Tel: 01 45 62 02 41