Is France safe? Latest travel advice as coronavirus cases hit 285 and people are urged to 'reduce their outings'

CORONAVIRUS cases in France have increased to 285, while four people have been killed by the virus.

As schools are closed and large group gatherings are banned, here is everything to know if you are travelling to France.

Follow our coronavirus live blog to stay up to date with the latest news and updates.

What is the travel advice for France?

The UK government has updated the travel advice for Brits heading to France after the country reported more than 200 cases of the virus.

They advise: "There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus. The virus originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, but cases have been confirmed in other parts of China and in some other countries, including France where there is an ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Oise, Haute Savoie and Morbihan.

"The French authorities have indicated they may cancel some large events or gatherings of more than 5000 people."

Schools have been closed and communal activities cancelled in Oise, Haute Savoie and Morbihan, and the government have encouraged residents to "reduce their outings".

However there are currently no travel restrictions in place across France, and Brits are not being warned to self-quarantine when returning to the UK.

Can I cancel my holiday to France?

As there are no travel bans in France, airlines unlikely to allow you to change your flights without a fee.

However, British Airways is cutting hundreds of flights, included to France, throughout March due to a drop in demand.

Travellers using the Eurostar are also to remain the same: "There are no travel restrictions in place across the countries across our network and we continue to operate our services as normal and our Conditions of Carriage continue to apply.

"We remain in contact with the authorities and, should guidance change, we will publish any further updates and contact customers as appropriate."

They advise to get in touch if you have been quarantined and are unable to travel, but that travellers should contact their travel insurance provider as well.

The only time that tour operators are required to give a refund on holiday packages is if the Foreign Office changes its travel advice for a region and turns it into a no-go area, which they have not done in this case.

Independent hotels are not even required to refund money in this instance, so if you have paid in advance and choose not to turn up then you will lose your money.

If the hotel is a large chain, it could be worth asking to change your stay to another location or delay your trip but they are under no obligation to grant this.

Experts have advised not to cancel holidays to Europe, as there is no more risk in the UK "than you are somewhere else".

If you are still concerned, here is everything to know about cancelling your holiday.

France has banned any indoor gatherings with more than 5,000 people to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus, while the Louvre in Paris has opened after being shut for three days.

Disneyland Paris remains open, despite the large group ban, and has reassured concerned families that they are "following the development of the situation in close collaboration with health authorities".

The Eiffel Tower remains open.

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