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State’s revised travel mandate allows Alaskans traveling within state to test at the airport

August 6, 2020 – News

The State of Alaska’s revised travel protocols take effect Tuesday, August 11 at 12:01 a.m. The mandate applies to all travelers arriving into Alaska, no matter how they enter the state. Children under 11 will continue to be exempt from testing requirements. Read the revised mandate here and FAQs here.

Under the revised mandate, COVID-19 testing will continue to be provided at no cost at airport testing sites to Alaska residents traveling into the state. Free testing at airport sites will also now be opened up for Alaska residents traveling within the state to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 between Alaska’s communities. At the Juneau International Airport, COVID-19 testing for travelers occurs 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. Testing for Alaska residents traveling within the state is voluntary.

Another significant revision to the mandate is that nonresident travelers may no longer obtain a COVID-19 test for free upon arrival into Alaska at the state’s airport testing sites. Nonresidents will also no longer have the option for a 5-day pretest or the option to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving into the state. Instead, nonresidents must now test before traveling to Alaska. They must take a qualifying test 72 hours before they depart and either show proof of a negative result at arrival, or quarantine until results are received and submitted. Nonresident travelers who arrive without proof of the 72 hour pretest will be required to pay $250 per test to be tested at an airport testing site.

Under the revised mandate, both resident and nonresident travelers will also now be required to fill out a three-question self-isolation plan in the Alaska Travel Portal detailing how they plan to isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 while in Alaska. In addition, the mandate clearly explains how all travelers into the state are required to practice strict social distancing for 14 days after arriving into Alaska, or until a second negative result is obtained from a molecular-based SARS-CoV2 test taken between 7-14 days after arriving into Alaska.

Strict social distancing means: You may be in an outdoor public place, but you must remain 6 feet away from anyone not in your immediate household, and you must wear a face covering. You may arrange curbside shopping or have food delivery.  You cannot enter restaurants, bars, gyms, community centers, sporting facilities (i.e., ice rinks, gymnasiums, sports domes), office buildings, school or daycare. Do not participate in any group activities, including sporting events and practices, weddings, funerals or other gatherings.

For all travelers (resident and nonresident):

  • Complete a Travel Declaration Form and Self-Isolation Plan in the Alaska Travel Portal.
  • All travelers with negative results must still follow strict social distancing for 14 days after arriving into the state or until the traveler receives a second negative test result from a test taken 7-14 days after arrival.
  • The five-day pretest option is no longer available for any travelers.

For nonresident travelers:

  • Test 72 hours before departure.
    • Upload negative result into the Alaska Travel Portal or have results available to show screeners at the airport.
    • If still awaiting results by arrival time, travelers will need to upload proof of a test taken into the Alaska Travel Portal or show that proof of a test taken to an airport screener and self-quarantine, at their own expense, while waiting for results. The results must be uploaded into the portal when received.
  • If a nonresident arrives without a pre-test, testing is available for $250 per test. The traveler will be required to quarantine while waiting on results.
  • The 14-day quarantine option is no longer available for nonresident travelers.

For Alaska resident travelers:

  • Test 72 hours prior to departure, with the same rules as listed for nonresidents, OR test upon arrival at the airport OR quarantine for 14 days.
    • Testing at arrival remains available at no cost to Alaska residents.
  • Alaska residents traveling within the state will now have the option of free testing at the airport sites, to prevent bringing the virus into our small communities.
  • Proof of Alaska residency can be shown with one of the following:
    • Alaska driver’s license or state issued ID card.
    • Federally recognized Alaska Tribal identification card.
    • Active duty military ID card or active duty dependent ID card.
    • Employment verification letter on employer letterhead or school verification letter for in-person schooling stating traveler is moving to Alaska for employment or school.

For critical infrastructure employees:

  • Travel that is deemed essential or for critical infrastructure, as previously defined in Health Mandate 10, will continue as it has under existing guidance.
  • Critical infrastructure workers traveling to Alaska will no longer be able to use state-funded testing at airports.
  • Critical infrastructure companies and organizations will be asked to provide employees with a letter on company letterhead that states they are a critical infrastructure worker traveling for work purposes. These letters must include travel plans and confirm that the traveler is following the employer’s Community Workforce Protect Plan on file with the state that includes testing and/or quarantine provisions.

More information will be posted at covid19.alaska.gov as soon as it becomes available. You can preview the new Alaska Travel Portal at alaska.covidsecureapp.com. Read the original State of Alaska press release here.