Singapore has advised citizens who are either travelling to or already in France to stay away from large gatherings, as hordes of anti-government protesters pour onto the Champs-Elysees, a popular shopping avenue in Paris, this weekend.
"Singaporeans who are either travelling to or already in France are advised to avoid large gatherings and demonstrations, monitor local media for developments and heed the instructions of the local authorities," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a travel notice yesterday.
The "yellow vest" protests, named for the attire of the protesters, began on Nov 17, when some 282,000 people took part in more than 2,000 demonstrations at roundabouts and on major roads across the country to oppose higher fuel tax.
The movement, which has seen two deaths, has since morphed into a multi-faceted outcry against the high cost of living and President Emmanuel Macron's economic policies.
The MFA warned that more protesters are expected to take to the streets today - the third weekend of the unrest - and "traffic disruptions, violence and other disturbances cannot be ruled out".
"As public transport may also be disrupted as a result of the demonstrations, do allow for additional travel time especially around the protest areas," the MFA said.
Singaporeans are encouraged to eRegister with the MFA at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ to enable the ministry to reach them should the need arise.
They are also advised to purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
FOR CONSULAR HELP
Those in need of consular assistance may contact the Singapore Embassy in Paris or the MFA Duty Office at:
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in France
16 Rue Murillo, 75008 Paris, France
Tel: +33 675 032 555
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hours)
Tanglin, Singapore 248163
Tel: +65 6379 8800 or 8855