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October 17, 2023

Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Paris, France – France Elevates Its Security Alert System (16 Oct 2023)

The French government elevated its Vigipirate security alert system on October 13 to the highest level, “Emergency Attack” (Urgence Attentat), following a terrorist attack in the city of Arras that resulted in the death of a French teacher.  As a result, residents and visitors throughout France may see heightened security in public areas, including airports; public transport; places of worship; tourist sites; schools; major sports venues; and large commercial centers.

The U.S. Embassy in France reminds U.S. citizens to remain vigilant of their surroundings, take appropriate steps to increase personal security and avoid demonstrations and areas with significant police activity.  Exercise caution if in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests and depart immediately if demonstrators are clashing with police or destroying property.  Always follow the instructions of police and emergency response officials.

French authorities actively monitor terrorist threats from organized groups and radicalized individuals.  Attacks may happen with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, major sporting and cultural events, and other public areas that attract large numbers of civilians.  Visitors to congested and popular tourist areas should be particularly attentive to their surroundings. The public is encouraged to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities by dialing 17 or 112.

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

Actions to Take:

  • Avoid demonstrations and areas with significant police activity.
  • Exercise caution if in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
  • Monitor local media for updates.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Notify friends and family of your safety.

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

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

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