The U.S. State Department has issued a new warning alerting its citizens to the risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe this summer, and to be especially cautious if attending European soccer championship matches throughout France from June 10 to July 10, or the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, between July 26 and July 31.
The advisory, which was issued on May 31 and extends through August 31, 2016, urges U.S. citizens to be especially cautious when attending major events, tourist sites, restaurants, and commercial and transportation hubs.
Canada has not, to date, issued any similar warnings about European travel generally, but it provides up-to-date, country-by-country alert levels at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories that Canadian travellers should check out daily if travelling anywhere in European this summer. Remember that entering any country or region within a country that is designated “Avoid non-essential Travel,” or “Avoid all travel” can limit or void one’s travel insurance coverage.
The State Department advisory notes that the European soccer championships are being held at multiple stadiums throughout the country, so the warnings extend well beyond Paris. It also extends its warning to spectators at the Tour de France, which will be held July 2–24 over routes covering all regions of France.
The Catholic Church’s World Youth Day is expected to draw some 2.5 million visitors to Poland, and the State Department warns that Polish facilities will be strained to handle such large crowds. In addition, visitors to Poland will be expected to show their passports and other relevant documents when entering the country. Poland, a member of the Schengen Area, normally does not require visitors from other European countries that are also members of the Schengen Area to shows their passports.
The Europe Travel Alert warns its citizens to:
- Exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation
- Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency
- Monitor media and local event information sources
- Be prepared for additional security screenings and unexpected disruptions
- Stay in touch with family and have a plan if they become separated so they know how to reach each other in the event of an emergency
Although the advisory was issued by the U.S. State Department for its travelling citizens, we urge Canadians to follow these guidelines as well.
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