Message for U.S. Citizens: Holiday Security Reminder and Holiday Closures

Holiday Security Reminder and Holiday Closures

With the holiday season beginning, the Embassy reminds you to maintain sound personal security and situational awareness.  Large gatherings may present a target of opportunity for criminal elements and terrorist groups alike.  Incidents of petty crime, such as pick-pocketing and phone snatching, are often directed at tourists and holiday shoppers.  Likewise, terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets and shopping malls, places of worship, and other public areas.  Visitors to congested and popular tourist areas should pay particular attention to their surroundings.

General, but effective, security tips to keep in mind:

  • Ensure you have a means of communication, know emergency numbers, and establish meeting points with friends and family in the event of emergency.
  • Maintain positive control of all your belongings.  If carrying a bag or purse, ensure the pockets are secure and keep the bag in front of you.  Never leave a bag or valuables unattended.
  • Be wary of diversions.  Pickpockets frequently work in teams to distract the victim while his/her valuables are stolen.
  • Be discreet.  Avoid displaying flashy clothing and jewelry or displaying cash in public.
  • Remember, there are no possessions worth your life.  Comply with the criminal’s demands and be a good witness.

In your vehicle:

  • Do not leave any valuables visible in your vehicle, even while driving.
  • Use a parking garage whenever possible.  When a parking garage is not available, look for a space near a streetlight.
  • If you suspect someone is following you, do not drive home but go to a safe area such as a police station or hotel.
  • In traffic, always attempt to leave space to maneuver.  Be prepared to take evasive action at any time.

In your home:

  • Be sure to engage the security deadbolts on all entrance doors – this is the most effective way to prevent break-ins.

See the most recent Travel Advisory for France at

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Emergency Contacts

Dial 112 to reach the Europe-wide emergency number.  You can ask for an English-speaking operator, who will direct a response from the appropriate Police, Fire, or Medical emergency responders (be aware, these offices may not speak English).

Other (French-speaking) emergency contact numbers:

  • Police                                                               17
  • SAMU (Emergency Medical Care)     15
  • Fire                                                                   18
  • SOS Medecins (Doctor House Calls) 01 47 07 77 77

Embassy Consular Holiday Hours

The Embassy Consular Section will maintain regular business hours (9-6, Monday – Friday) this holiday season, except on:

  • December 24, 2022 – Early closure, open 9-3
  • December 26, 2022 – Closed for Christmas
  • January 2, 2023 – Closed for New Year’s
  • January 16, 2023 – Closed for Martin Luther King Day

U.S. citizens may monitor English-language French media at the following:


U.S. Embassy Paris, France

+33 (1) 43 12 22 22

U.S. Consulate General Marseille, France

+33 (1) 43 12 22 22

U.S. Consulate General Strasbourg, France

+33 (1) 43 12 22 22

State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

France Country Specific Information

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