Paris public transport unions announce one-day strike

Transport unions in the Paris region have called on workers to join a walk-out, with all public transport services set to be affected.

Paris public transport unions announce one-day strike
The Paris metro has been running with less passengers than usual since the French government imposed a second lockdown to halt the spread of Covid-19. Photo: AFP

Five unions representing worker with the Paris transport authority RATP that runs transport networks in greater Paris region of Île-de-France called for all workers to “massively mobilise” on Thursday, December 17th – two days after the date when France plans to lift its lockdown.

As a consequence buses, metro services, trams and RERs in the capital and its suburbs may run at a reduced level.

In a joint press release, RATP unions CGT, UNSA, Solidaires, Sud and SAT said they called the strike to show their “dissatisfaction and concern” over the decision to open the regional transport network up to more competition.


Initially planned for mid November, the strike was postponed until December due to the tense health situation, which unions said now “had slightly eased”.

In a former press release they decried the consequences the increased privatisation would have on their working conditions, their salaries and their holidays.

The regional bus network will be the first concerned by privatisation, with private companies allowed to bid on the network as of January 1st 2025.

It was not immediately clear on Tuesday just how many workers would participate in Thursday's strike, but employees of the French transport sector are legally obliged to give a 48-hour-notice if they intend to join a strike so more details are expected in the days before strike.

READ ALSO Striking in France – what are the rules and do strikers get paid

Last year transport unions reduced public transport services to a near-halt as they organised in a mass-protest against the government's proposed pension reforms.


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Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.