Thai tourists warned to avoid Paris this Saturday as mass protests loom

The Thai embassy in Paris has warned Thai tourists to avoid visiting the French capital on Saturday as the French government plans to deploy an “exceptional” number of security forces around the country to brace for the “yellow vest” protests in Paris.

As for Thais who are living in Paris and have to travel to the capital, the embassy advised them to avoid the centre of the capital, such as the Champs Elysees and cultural sites as well as key government offices, including the parliament and the presidential office.

For Thais who are living in other French cities, they were advised to avoid protest sites and to follow the advice of French officials.  They were also told to check in advance whether subway, shopping malls and tourist attractions will operate as normal on Saturday or not as there is a likelihood that several of these venues may be shut down for security reason.

In case of emergency, they can contact the embassy at its hotline numbers.

French police have urged shops and restaurants on the Champs Elysees to shut down to avoid fresh damage after last weekend’s riots, the worst in decades.

However, tourists were urged not to cancel their trips to Paris despite the closure of about a dozen cultural sites, including the Eiffel Tower, due to security fears.

An official in President Macron’s office warned that intelligence suggested some protesters intended to come to Paris this Saturday “to smash and to kill”.

French prime minister Edouard Philippe told the Senate that an unspecified number of additional new forces would be deployed on top of the 65,000 security officers already in place for the protests in Paris and elsewhere.

The government’s plan to increase green fuel tax has sparked off the protests by the “yellow vest” movement.  However, the government has agreed to scrap the tax hike plan, but demands have now widened from French workers, retirees and students.

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