10 million people are expected to attend the month-long Euro 2016 football tournament in France, which starts on 10th June and runs to 10th July 2016. And while the excitement is building for football fans, there are also a lot of things you need to be aware of if you are going to watch a game or two.
So, if you are among those lucky enough to have a ticket, what can you do to be prepared?
Travel insurance and your EHIC
First and foremost, of course, is to make sure you have appropriate travel insurance to protect you financially against the unexpected – e.g. loss of baggage or your passport, travel disruption (not all travel insurance policies cover travel delays as standard) etc. as well as providing emergency medical treatment if needed.
You will also need your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which enables you to get the same emergency treatment as a member of the country you are visiting.
This will complement your existing private travel health insurance because many European countries do not have health insurance as comprehensive as the NHS. In some cases, for example, even with an EHIC card, you may need to contribute to the cost of your care, or even pay up front whilst you are reimbursed via your EHIC card at a later date.
A suitable travel insurance policy should prevent this problem arising.
The threat of terror attacks during the tournament is being widely discussed in the media. One such example is that of German player Jerome Boateng, who has banned his family from Euro 2016 as, he says, the risk of a terror attack at the tournament in France is “too big”.
On Tuesday 7th June the British Foreign Office (FCO) said on its website: “There is a high threat from terrorism. Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures”.
The FCO also warned that travellers “should be vigilant at all times, especially in areas hosting Euro 2016 events, and follow the advice of local French authorities”.
Obviously this is very worrying and we don’t have space to discuss the implications within this piece. Read our article on Travel and Terrorism for more infomation.
At the time of writing (9th June) there is severe travel disruption in France, so be prepared for lengthy delays and changes of plan at the last minute.
Problems include rail strikes, and proposed strikes from Air France pilots.
And while the fuel shortage in France caused by strikes has eased since the end of May, sources are recommending you have a full tank of fuel if you are driving to France.
While overflowing bins in Paris as a result of industrial action by waste treatment workers may not have a major effect on you, it is worth knowing why there are piles of rubbish building up in the streets!
So, you’ve managed to get to France despite the strikes, terror alerts and smelly bins – don’t mess things up though by falling foul of the law.
From men being legally obliged to wear Speedos when swimming in a public place, to toilet paper being used as legal tender, it’s not just driving on the other side of the road that you need to be aware of!
To help you keep out of trouble, Lastminute.com have produced a comical infographic, which you can find on their website.
We hope this article enables you to make informed decisions if you are travelling to France. You can also visit the FCO website for lots more useful information and tips as well as read their bespoke Euro 2016 guides.