Australians planning to visit France for the upcoming Rugby World Cup have received a cautionary advisory from Smartraveller regarding heightened security measures due to an ongoing terrorism threat.
Scheduled to begin on September 8 and extend until October 28, the seven-week Rugby World Cup will feature matches across major cities in France.
Smartraveller recently updated its guidance for this popular European travel destination, urging Australians to maintain a “high degree of caution” and anticipate potential travel disruptions and increased security measures in Paris and other prominent cities throughout the event.
France’s national security threat alert currently stands at a medium level denoted as “reinforced security – threat risk,” according to Smartraveller’s statement.
The advisory warns of the possibility of terrorist attacks in France, highlighting the potential for indiscriminate targeting. Travelers are advised to be cautious in areas that are known to be susceptible to attacks.
France has been grappling with terrorism and civil unrest for several years. The country experienced a series of ISIS-inspired attacks between 2015 and 2016 that resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives. In 2022, a lone gunman targeted a Kurdish cultural center in Paris, resulting in the tragic deaths of three individuals. Additionally, prolonged riots erupted in July this year following the shooting death of Nahel M in Nanterre, near Paris.
The Rugby World Cup will feature twenty teams competing in four five-team pools. Australia’s Wallabies are part of Pool C and will compete against teams from Wales, Fiji, Georgia, and Portugal. The first match for the Wallabies will be against Georgia on September 9 at the Stade de France, a substantial stadium with an 80,000-person capacity located in Saint-Denis, north of Paris.
The opening ceremony for the Rugby World Cup is scheduled for September 8 at the Stade de France. The event is expected to showcase the richness of French culture. The knockout quarter-finals stage is set to commence on October 14.