(9:21 a.m. EST) -- Beginning December 15, cruise passengers hoping to go ashore in French ports of call will be required to have a booster shot for COVID-19 in addition to a full vaccination regimen.
German brand AIDA broke the news, issuing the new requirements on its website.
"The following official requirement is relevant for all guests who are planning to go ashore in France: From December 15, 2021, people aged 65 and over will only be considered fully vaccinated there after a booster vaccination, and from January 15, 2022, people aged 18 and over," says a statement from AIDA (translated from German) on its website.
"This means that if the second vaccination was more than 7 months ago (Johnson & Johnson 2 months after the first vaccination), a booster vaccination is necessary before departure. There must be at least 7 days between the booster vaccination and the start of the journey. If you have not received a booster vaccination by then, it is unfortunately not possible to go ashore in France."
The move is in keeping with local requirements in France. The French government has advised residents that, in order to maintain their Health Pass that allows for access to restaurants and other public venues, they will need to obtain booster shots for COVID-19 within seven months of their last dose, or two months for Johnson & Johnson.
France becomes the first major country to officially require COVID-19 booster shots for tourism purposes. While most North American-based cruise lines do not call on French ports of call during the winter months, Cunard Line offers select calls to ports that include Cherbourg, and some river cruise lines are still operating along the Seine.
Cruise Critic has reached out to a handful of lines for comment and will update this story with additional information as it becomes available.