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Message for U.S. Citizens: Security During the Holidays and Embassy Closures (4 DEC 2023)
December 4, 2023

As the holiday season approaches, U.S. citizens should remain vigilant of their surroundings and practice sound personal security and situational awareness.  Large gatherings may present a target of opportunity for terrorist groups and criminals.  Terrorists – including lone actors – may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations such as markets, transportation hubs, shopping malls, places of worship, and other public areas.  Distracted tourists and holiday shoppers may fall victim to pickpockets and other petty criminals.  Visitors to congested and popular tourist areas should pay particular attention to their surroundings and always follow the instructions of police and emergency response officials.

The French Vigipirate security alert system has been at its highest level (Urgence Attentat) since October 13.  As a result, residents and visitors throughout France may see a heightened security presence in public areas.

U.S. citizens traveling to France should review the Country Specific Information at travel.state.gov and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for the latest travel advice and information.

The Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy will maintain regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 9AM – 6PM) this holiday season, except on:

December 22, 2023 – 9AM-3PM

January 1, 2024 – Closed for New Year’s Day

January 15, 2024 – Closed for Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

Actions to take:

  • Avoid demonstrations and areas with significant police activity;
  • Be aware of your surroundings;
  • Keep a low profile;
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists.

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


U.S. Embassy Paris
+33 (1) 43 12 22 22

U.S. Consulate General Marseille
+33 (1) 43 12 22 22

U.S. Consulate General Strasbourg
+33 (1) 43 12 22 22

State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

France Country Specific Information
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.
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