A nationwide strike is set to take place in France, with delays and cancellations expected across rail and air services until January 20.

The strike, which is in opposition to the French government’s plan to raise the retirement age, will take place from 7pm this evening [January 18] until 8am on January 20.

France’s transport minister, Clement Beaune, tweeted that the strike will cause heavy disruption across the transport networks and is advising people to cancel or postpone their trips, if possible.

The national train operator SNCF said that only about a quarter of high-speed TGV lines will be operating. Additionally, one in five flights to and from Paris Orly are set to be cancelled.

Meanwhile, Eurostar will be running a revised timetable on January 19 and 20, stating on its website that the strike will have an “impact on the availability of some of our crew and the opening hours on the high-speed line we use in northern France”. The operator has provided a list of cancelled services – travellers with tickets on these trains can exchange their ticket for free, claim a refund or e-voucher.

While some trains to Paris and Lille will still run on January 19, the operator says that there will be “major disruption” to public transport and train connections. It is therefore advising passengers to plan ahead and allow extra time for the journey. Travellers are also able to exchange their ticket for free for travel at a different date and time in the same class.

Trains that are running to/from Brussels, Rotterdam or Amsterdam will not be impacted by the situation in France.

The UK’s Foreign Office (FCDO) has modified its travel advice for those visiting France, stating:

“Several unions have called for cross-sector strike action and demonstrations on Thursday 19 January. This may lead to disruption to services. Please check the latest advice with operators before travelling, avoid demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities.”