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Euro 2016 Irish team

France will be a top destination for thousands of Irish football fans who will be supporting the ‘boys in green’ during the UEFA Euro 2016 Championship from June 10th to July 10th.

If you’re lucky enough to have nabbed a ticket and are making preparations for Euro 2016 chances are you’ve already made sure to locate the jersey, unfurled the treasured Irish flag, and your bag is full to the brim with all things green – green wigs, oversized St. Patrick’s hats (it’s not just for one national holiday you know) and yes, even green, white, and gold face paint. You’re all set so. But, are you really?

What if something goes wrong with your flight, the accommodation, travelling in France, eating out, or there is a health and emergency issue? ECC Ireland, in conjunction with ECC France, has put together some consumer tips to help football fans, and those going along just for the craic, enjoy their stay.

 

Bye bye ‘Fields of Athenry’, hello France

Passports – Don’t leave home without it:

EU citizens are entitled to free movement to other EU countries and the Schengen agreement (signed by 26 Member States) enhances that right by enabling citizens to cross internal borders without being subjected to border checks. While France is a participating state, Ireland is not part of the Schengen arrangements on travel and visas.

What does this mean?

Well, put simply – bring a passport! When travelling in the EU it’s always good to bring a passport as a form of ID and to establish your right to travel freely. Plus, border controls may be temporarily reinstated or you may be subject to controls within France. If you are travelling by plane, you will also need ID to board and there are identity controls at train stations, especially for cross-border train journeys. However, EU citizens do not require a visa. Be aware that even though you are travelling in the Schengen area, luggage controls can be enforced and police and military presence will also be reinforced.

Get your passport in time before booking that flight

If you need a passport, and have yet to submit an application, well, you may be in for a bit of a wait as the Passport Office is finding it rather difficult to keep up with demand.

Euro 2016 fans, hoping to see Ireland take on Sweden at the Stade de France in Paris on June 13th, have been warned to submit their applications for a passport renewal in person rather than by post.

To deal with the backlog of about 9,217 applications, the Department of Foreign Affairs has had to draft in 227 temporary clerical workers.

For more, here’s the Irish Independent’s article ‘Backlog of passport applications sparks fears for fans heading to Euro 2016’.

French security on high alert for Euro 2016:

Euro 2016 is a time to celebrate and support your national team but remember to respect customs and in particular follow directions from local police and security teams who will be on high alert.

In light of last year’s terror attacks in France, as well as more recently in Brussels, a state of emergency will be in place until at least the end of July. This will mean very tight controls at the Stade de France where the Republic of Ireland will face Sweden on June 13th. Increased security measures will also be in place for other matches including Ireland v Belgium in Bordeaux on June 18th and Ireland v Italy in Lille on June 22nd.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has recently issued advice for Irish fans in relation to passports. These tips include:

  • Check your passport to make sure it is valid for the duration of intended travel.
  • Make a copy of your passport and email it to yourself and a family member at home in case it gets lost or stolen and you need replacement travel documents.
  • Apply for the new Irish Passport Card which is valid for travel within Europe and can fit in your wallet, allowing you to leave your passport in a safe place.
  • As France is in a State of Emergency, a valid form of photo ID should be carried at all times in France.

More advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs is available here.

Access to the Stadium

  • Make sure you have your personal ticket and a valid ID/passport (there may be controls in place).Euro 2016
  • Due to the reinforcement of security measures in France, especially at stadium entrances, it is advised:
    • To arrive early (the stadium gates will be open 3 hours before kickoff).
    • To check the list of prohibited items as you may be refused access to the stadium (please check UEFA Stadium rules for more information).

Download ECC-Net’s 7 tips for football fans

ECC-Net has put together 7 handy tips for football fans which is available to download here. It covers things like tickets, transport, or renting a car in France as well as match schedule.

ECC-Net 7 tips for Euro 2016 fans

ECC-Net’s handy 7 tips for Euro 2016 fans

Know your air passenger rights for the ‘Dance in France

While you’re trying to squeeze all that green football paraphernalia into that already straining bag it is important to swot up on your air passenger rights.

Regulation 261/2004 established common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers, which air carriers are obliged to comply with in the event of flight delay, flight cancellation, or denied boarding. So, this means you have the right to be informed of the circumstances of your journey in a timely manner before, during, and after the travel, and about your entitlements in case of disruption. Depending on the situation, you may also be entitled to receive assistance, be offered the option of continuing your trip or seeking a refund of your ticket.

The air carrier should ensure that at check-in there is a clearly legible and visible notice with the following text: “If you are denied boarding or if your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least two hours, ask at the check-in counter or boarding gate for the text stating your rights, particularly with regard to compensation and assistance’. If an airline denies boarding, cancels a flight, or there is a delay of at least two hours, you should also be provided with a written notice setting out the rules for compensation and assistance.

Find out more on flight delay, flight cancellation, and denied boarding.

So you’ve arrived, but your luggage hasn’t? Or maybe the bag, with the important Irish jersey, is either lost or the luggage itself is damaged. What do you do?

If something happens to your luggage/personal items, you should:

  • Go to the baggage claims desk, ask for a Property Irregularity Report (PIR), fill it out, and make sure to keep a copy for yourself.
  • Make sure to keep your boarding card, baggage tags, and receipts of all necessary expenses as a result of baggage delay.
  • Gather evidence of damage caused – for example, photographs, confirmation from an independent source, or receipts. You will only get a full refund if the item is brand new. Passengers have to prove items have been damaged or lost as well as their current value.
  • If your luggage is delayed then you may need to purchase necessary goods. Before buying ask what the air carrier considers to be ‘necessary goods’. Ask if the air carrier pays a standard daily rate and how many days this covers.
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Don’t forget to phone the mammy – roaming charges now cheaper under new EU rules:

Roaming charges have always been a bit of pain – you’re having a great time, make a few calls (even more annoying receive a few) and when you get home there’s a whopping great bill waiting for you. Well, the good news is that roaming charges will be much cheaper.

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Accommodation in France:

Whether you’re living it up in a four star, a bed & breakfast, hostel or camping, your booking should be done in writing and include the following information:

  • Length of stay
    • Durée du séjour
  • Arrival and departure date and time
    • Jour d’arrivée et de départ, et l’heure
  • Room including half board or full board
    • Chambre avec demi-pension ou pension compléte
  • Room including breakfast
    • Chambre avec petit déjeuner
  • Number of persons travelling
    • Nombre de personnes
  • Parking required (private/monitored)
    • Parking privé/surveillé
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Getting around to Euro 2016 matches: Transport in France

the-ball-488714_1920There are 10 cities hosting Euro 2016 matches so there’s a lot of moving around and cheering to be done. To make it easier for footie fans we have put together some transport tips, and the good news is there is lots of choice.

 

Public transport:

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Train:

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Taxi:

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Bon appetit! Eating out in France

You may be on the go a lot when marching from match to match but try not to be lured by the usual fast-food joints. Instead, make sure to enjoy some of France’s wonderful cuisine – the reason it has such as good reputation for gastronomy.

There are many restaurants to choose from. Prices are not regulated but please note that restaurants must show the prices outside and inside its premises. The bill includes taxes and service. Giving a tip is not an obligation but its always welcomed.

More information on restaurants in France.

shopping in FranceShopping in France

Usual shop opening hours:

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Prices:

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Returns:

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Legal guarantee for defective products:

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Counterfeit:

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Loss or theft of your credit card:

Before travelling, write down your credit card number and its expiration date but make sure to keep this information separate from your wallet.

You should also note phone numbers that will be essential in case of loss or theft of your credit card. As soon as you realise your card has been stolen or lost, contact your bank/credit card company to block/cancel it.

Health and emergency in France:

The European emergency number – Call 112:

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French emergency numbers:

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Access to healthcare for EU citizens

If you are an EU citizen and have health insurance you are entitled to emergency care in accordance with the legal benefits of the state in which you are treated (in this case France).

So if you get sick in France, or are injured in an accident, you can get some care for free, but in most cases you will have to pay in advance for medical costs. To obtain a refund (at least partially) for medical expenses you need to present the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to a French doctor or in a French hospital. This card replaces the E111 form and other EU forms (E110, 119, etc).

You can apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) here. It’s a good idea to apply before travelling and for each member of your family to have one. For more information on the EHIC click here.

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And finally don’t forget to learn a few Irish footie fan tunes:

A Republic of Ireland team match against, well anyone, would not be complete without the ardent fans encouraging the ‘boys in green’ with footie tunes and chants.

The golden oldie and still the all time favourite is of course ‘The Fields of Athenry’ and in case you’ve somehow forgotten the words here’s a link to the song along with the French translation so you can sing it with your new French mates during Euro 2016. ECC Ireland will certainly be singing along!

Of course, whenever a championship comes along there are loads of new songs that come out. One that has been doing the rounds is ‘Dance in France’ composed by John Paul Wright, manager of Murphy’s Law Irish pub in Salzburg, Austria. The video may be a bit dodgy but we kinda like it, because sure it’s a bit of craic, and here it is: