Paris protests: Is it safe to travel to French capital amid Les Gilets Jaunes violence?

What is the current situation in Paris?

Protest group Les Giles Jaunes’ violent demonstrations escalated this weekend, when French police were forced to use chemical gas to disperse crowds in the French capital.

It came shortly after the campaigners had trashed tourist hotspot, the Champs Elysees, amid a crowd of 10,000.

The French gendarmerie confirmed a “small amount” of the chemical gas was released close to the Arc de Triomphe.

The desperate measure came as the French government banned Yellow Vest protest Paris after Saturday’s rioting caused millions of pounds worth of damage.

What has the UK Government said about travel to Paris?

The UK Government has updated its travel advice for Paris in light of the ongoing protests.

They warn that the mass action usually takes place on a Saturday.

The recommendations warn: “A number of previous demonstrations have led to violence and extensive damage to property in Paris and in other cities across the country.

“If demonstrations do turn violent, a heavy police/gendarmerie presence is to be expected.

“Motorists travelling through France may continue to experience some delays or blockages caused by local demonstrators – you should drive with caution as protestors may be present on roads, motorways and toll booths.

“In all cases, you should avoid demonstrations wherever possible and follow the advice of the local authorities.”

How long have the Giles Jaunes protests lasted in Paris?

The Gilets Jaunes, a group named after the yellow jacket lorry drivers must display in their vehicles, began their protests in November.

They were campaigning against a new government instigated eco-tax on petrol and diesel.

Those in charge of the country dropped the tax yet the demonstrators then called for more demands, including a greater public voice in government policy.

They have since come to encompass widespread dissatisfaction with the French elite.

Organisers of Saturday’s protest called it an “ultimatum”.

How do British tourists get to Paris?

Around 17 million British nationals visit France every year.

There are many options available to tourists to visit the European country.

Those who like to travel can take a car ferry to Calais and drive through the country to the capital city.

Alternatively, holiday-makers can travel to either of the capital’s main airports.

There is also the option to travel via the Eurostar.

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