For members


France’s summer 2022 strike timetable for roads, rail and air travel

The transport sector - particularly air travel - has been hit by strike action all over Europe this summer. Here's your guide to the declared strike days in France and the services that will be affected.

France's summer 2022 strike timetable for roads, rail and air travel
Paris Charles de Gaulle airport employees wave trade union flags as they stage a strike to demand higher wages at Roissy Charles De Gaulle Airport. Photo by Geoffroy Van der Hasselt / AFP

Why are the strikes taking place?

The majority of the strikes are over pay, with unions saying that the soaring cost of living should mean pay increases for staff. So far there has been no call for a general strike, and each dispute is a separate matter between company bosses and the relevant workers’ representatives.

We will update this story throughout the summer.


The air travel sector is the worst hit so far, with several different strikes called.

Lufthansa – One of Lufthansa’s main unions called the German airline’s ground staff to strike on Wednesday July 27th as part of a wage dispute, heralding “delays and cancellations.” This will impact several airports across Europe. In France, flights with Lufthansa to and from Nice and Marseille could be affected.

Ryanair – Ryanair staff had filed a strike notice for ‘unlimited action’ over the summer, planning for a series of one or two-day strikes throughout the summer in conjunction with staff in other European countries. Pilots with Ryanair in France and Spain reached an agreement to return to pre-pandemic wages, after having taken salary cuts during the health crisis, and have therefore called off industrial action that was scheduled for July 23rd and 24th, and 25th through 28th, respectively.

Easyjet – French Easyjet pilots have written an open letter to the company CEO denouncing the chaos that has already seen the budget airline cancel dozens of flights because of staff shortages, but so far the pilots have not declared a formal strike. 

However Easyjet’s flight attendants have been called to strike from July 29th to 31st.

Airport – workers at Aéroports de Paris (which covers Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports but not Beauvais) have called off their strike after reaching a deal on pay with the airport operator.

Staff shortages – in addition to strike action, air travel around Europe has been hit hard by shortages of key staff, and many airports have seen long wait times to check in.


There’s some better news for train passengers.

SNCF strike – workers on the French rail operator SNCF held a one-day strike on Wednesday, July 6th, which affected high-speed TGV, the Intercité and local TER trains in all parts of France. Although the dispute remains unresolved, unions say their next meeting with rail bosses will be on September 1st and there will be no more strike notices before that date.

That doesn’t rule out local on disputes on issues not related to pay, but does mean that there will be no widespread, nationwide strikes on the SNCF network over the summer.

Paris public transport – workers on the Paris public transport systems are also involved in a separate dispute about changes to changes to working conditions, this series of one-day actions has so far affected mostly the suburban Transilien trains and the RER network, but not the Metro. 


Truck drivers blockades – Drivers too are calling for wage increases in what is likely to be the first in a series of events – usually drivers protest by either blockading certain addresses such as business depots or staging opérations escargot – rolling roadblocks on major routes.

Service station strike – employees of French energy giant Total Energies are also in dispute over wages and staged a one-day strike in June. Employees of service stations run by Total Energies walked out, while others blockaded Total’s refineries so that deliveries of fuel could not get out. So far, there has been no notice filed of a second strike day. 


So far, most of the industrial action has centred on transport, which is one of the sectors that has the most impact on the daily life of both French residents and visitors. However there are other sectors that are involved in disputes over pay and conditions, notably healthcare. Staff at several hospitals have already staged industrial action – although for healthcare workers a grève involves staging protests outside the hospital, rather than walking out.

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For members


Do I need a prescription to get antibiotics in France?

A new law means that a prescription is not always required if you need antibiotics in France.

Do I need a prescription to get antibiotics in France?

In most cases, people in France requiring antibiotics will need a prescription (ordonnance) from a doctor.

However, there are two exceptions, according to a new decree published in France’s Journal Officiel on Tuesday.

The updated law allows French pharmacists to dispense antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription for two common infections; cystitis (UTIs) and tonsillitis/strep throat (angines in French), which can both be confirmed by a test at the pharmacy.

If you suspect you have either of these infections, you can go to the pharmacy to get a test, known as a Test Rapide d’Orientation Diagnostique or TROD.

If the test is positive, the pharmacist will be able to prescribe antibiotics without you having to visit a doctor. You can visit the pharmacy on a walk-in basis, with no need for an appointment, and at least one qualified pharmacist should be on the premises at all times.

The move comes after a relaxation on the rules around vaccines allowing pharmacists to give eight common vaccines without a doctor’s prescription – in addition to the Covid and seasonal flu vaccines which can already be accessed at a pharmacy without prescription. 

Pharmacists in France receive a minimum of six years of training and can offer medical advice for a range of conditions, as well as dispensing medication. 

READ MORE: More than prescriptions: 11 things you can do at a French pharmacy

What about prescriptions?

For all other types of conditions requiring antibiotics, a prescription will still be required.

In France, only doctors (both general practitioners and specialists), dental surgeons (chirurgiens-dentistes) and midwives (sages-femmes) are authorised to prescribe medicines.

As such, you would need an appointment with one of these professionals to get a prescription.

What if I’m just visiting France?

French residents would normally go to their registered doctor if they fall ill, but people who are either just visiting France or who are not registered in the French health system can access doctors too.

If you do have the carte vitale – the card confirming that you are registered in the French health system – you can still book an appointment with a doctor, although you won’t be entitled to any state reimbursement. You would have to either pay the costs yourself (€26 for a standard GP appointment, plus the cost of the prescription) or claim on your health or travel insurance if you have it.

Booking a GP appointment can be as simple as phoning a local doctor or using an online service such as Doctolib. You may also call up SOS Médecins if you want a home visit, but this costs more than a usual visit.

READ MORE: How to make a doctor’s appointment in France