Earlier this week the U.S. Department of State released a travel warning for Europe travel this summer. The warning is specific enough to name the Euro 2016 tournament, being held in Paris, and World Youth Day in Poland as potential targets of terrorist attacks.
From the State Department:
France will host the European Soccer Championship from June 10 – July 10. Euro Cup stadiums, fan zones, and unaffiliated entertainment venues broadcasting the tournaments in France and across Europe represent potential targets for terrorists, as do other large-scale sporting events and public gathering places throughout Europe. France has extended its state of emergency through July 26 to cover the period of the soccer championship, as well as the Tour de France cycling race which will be held from July 2- 24.
The Catholic Church’s World Youth Day event is expected to draw up to 2.5 million visitors to Krakow, Poland, between July 26 and July 31. U.S. citizens should be aware that local infrastructure may be strained due to the large number of visitors. Poland will impose border controls at all of its national borders from July 4 to August 2, and visitors to Poland during this period should be prepared to show their passport and undergo stricter security screening throughout Poland.
The warning says travelers should remain vigilant, keep aware of surroundings, stay in touch with family, and listen to authorities in the event of an emergency.
It’s safe to assume that this warning, a very rare one at that, stemmed from a recent discovery on the laptop of one of the Paris attackers that the Euro tournament is a target.
The State Department is merely doing their due diligence in informing the public of the potential for a bad situation. Like I mentioned in my previous post regarding the Summer Olympics in Brazil, you should bet that an event as large as the Euro tournament (especially one garnering this much media attention) will be closely watched and guarded by every authoritative level of law enforcement in France and beyond.
Should you be scared? No.
I’m going to Italy in September and honestly can’t wait!
Go to the Euro tournament. Go to World Youth Day (I went in 2005 in Cologne). Live your life and have fun.
Are you having second thoughts about traveling to Europe this summer?