Advice if travelling to the 2023 Rugby World Cup (France)
29 Aug 2023
The Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2023 will take place between 8 September to 28 October, 2023 in France.
There will be 48 matches played in nine venues located all across the country. Twenty teams, including Scotland, England Ireland and Wales will be participating in the tournament. Fixtures can be seen on the match schedule.
The potential risks to your health will vary depending on your pre-existing general health and what activities you are planning whilst abroad.
See the information below for ways to protect your health if you are planning to travel to the RWC.
Advice for Travellers
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) have prepared travel guidance specific to the Rugby World Cup, which includes advice for fans to:
- plan ahead due to the increased demand on transport and accommodation
- check that your passport is valid for entering the Schengen area
- check if your EHIC or GHIC is in date, or apply for one
- ensure you have valid travel insurance in place
Check that you are up to date with vaccines for day to day life in the UK. In the past large gatherings of people in close contact, including at sporting events, have been responsible for the transmission of highly infectious diseases such as measles and flu.
- There has been a recent increase in cases of measles in Europe
- Make sure you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine. For information on what to do if you're unsure if you've had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, see NHS inform (Scotland) or NHS UK (rest of UK)
- The seasonal flu vaccine is available in the UK from mid-September. Consider having the flu vaccine (if eligible) before travel, particularly if you are more at risk of severe flu
Review the France country page for information on health risks and information on disease outbreaks in the alerts section.
- If you think you may need travel health advice and/or vaccines or boosters before travel, you should arrange for a travel health risk assessment
Crowds of people around stadiums and public transport increases the risk of infectious diseases which cause respiratory and/or gastrointestinal illnesses spreading.
- Always take care with respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene, and take safe food and water precautions at all times to reduce your risk of illness.
Diseases spread by insects and ticks are a risk and there have been recent reports of locally-acquired tick-borne encephalitis and dengue fever in France. These are both potentially serious illnesses, and the risks need to be taken seriously.
- Always practice appropriate insect and tick bite avoidance both day and night to protect yourself – recommendations may vary in different parts of France, which is a large country.
- Be aware how to treat insect bites and how to remove ticks
Excessive use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs can lead to an increase in risk-taking behaviours which may lead to accidents or injuries occurring.
- Carrying a simple first aid kit can help to self-manage basic health problems
- Practicing safer sex and the use of condoms can help reduce the risk of blood borne viruses and other sexual health risks
The temperatures in France can still be hot, even in the Autumn months.
- Make sure you keep well hydrated and seek shade during the hottest hours of the day, and consider wearing a hat / head covering.
- Practice sun safety to help reduce the risk of sunstroke and other heat disorders in warm weather, as well as skin cancer.
For further information on disease risks, other health risks and vaccination advice, see the France country page.
If you become unwell in the weeks/months after travel, particularly with a high temperature (fever), flu-like symptoms, confusion, rash and/or diarrhoea, you should seek prompt medical advice, and ensure you mention your travel history to the health professional.