Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
OTTAWA — The federal government has issued an alert for Canadians heading to France, telling travellers to exercise a high degree of caution because of possible terrorist strikes stemming from the ongoing ‘Yellow Vests’ protests.
At the travel.gc.ca/destinations/france page, the government advises Canadians to “exercise a high degree of caution” in France due to the current elevated threat of terrorism.
“Demonstrations by the Yellow Vests movement have been taking place in Paris and other parts of the country since November 17, 2018. Demonstrators have blocked roads in certain areas, leading to important traffic disruptions. Acts of vandalism and violence occurred during large protests. In some regions, there were disruptions to public services, including public transportation.
“Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place. Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor local media for the latest information.”
As reported on Dec. 3, earlier this week French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe met with political rivals in a bid to ease protesters’ anger after facing widespread criticism following violent anti-government protests that rocked Paris.
More than 130 people were injured and 412 arrested Saturday in the French capital amid the nation’s worst riot in a generation. Police responded with tear gas and water cannons, closing down dozens of streets and subway stations to contain the riot.
According to the latest reports, one of the activists leading France’s protest movement says that he fears more deaths if a demonstration planned for this Sat. Dec. 8 goes ahead, and called for President Emmanuel Macron to speak out and bring calm.
Christophe Chalencon said that “if not there will be chaos,” with risks of more deaths.
The grassroots movement, triggered by fuel tax hikes, has grown amid Macron’s silence, he said.
Four people have died since protests began in November. Violent rampaging last Saturday devastated the French capital.
With files from the Associated Press