Australians should "think carefully" about travelling to Paris: ambassador to France

2015-11-16 04:30:48 GMT2015-11-16 12:30:48(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

CANBERRA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Australians should reconsider their travel plans to Paris as tensions remain high in the capital, according to Australia's ambassador to France.

On Sunday night (French time), a loud bang, reportedly from firecrackers, sent hundreds of panic-stricken people fleeing in fear outside a makeshift memorial at Paris' Place de la Republique, with residents still on edge at the possibly of another attack.

Australia's French Ambassador Stephen Brady told Australian television on Monday that any new visitors to Paris should be aware of the unpleasant fallout from Friday night's attacks -- which to date has claimed 132 lives.

"There have been one or two scenes of panic. There is hyper vigilance in Paris," Brady said on Monday.

"Unless there is an absolute necessity to travel to Paris, think carefully about the security environment here," Brady added.

The Australian government is telling those flying to France to exercise precautionary measures, while some international airlines have given travellers the option to pull out of their trip altogether if they have safety concerns.

Until Nov. 20, Emirates has waived rebooking, reissuing and cancellation charges for its passengers travelling to Nice, Lyon and Paris. And Qantas has offered every passenger flying from Australia to France on Monday the option of rerouting their trip, or the alternative of cancelling their ticket and receiving an accompanying credit.

Brady said the wave of worldwide support had been heartening for the local residents, and would spur the city -- and country -- on through its period of immense grief.

"Those scenes of our Opera House bathed in the French colors and the French flag flying from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, all the other symbols around Australia, they've been hugely appreciated by the French," he said.

"I have every confidence that life in Paris will resume its normal pulse," he noted.

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