DHSS Press Release: Alaska’s new travel protocols will conserve resources, increase testing for Alaskans and help prevent the spread of COVID-19

August 6, 2020 ANCHORAGE— Revised State of Alaska travel protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and conserve testing resources will take effect next Tuesday, August 11 at 12:01 a.m. The revised State of Alaska Health Mandate 10 and a FAQ will be posted online later today at covid19.alaska.gov.

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.

The most 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.

Testing will continue to be provided at no cost at airport testing sites to Alaska residents traveling into the state. 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.

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.

“These revisions are intended to prioritize and conserve our resources to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still allowing travel to occur,” Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum. “Travel is essential to Alaska’s well-being but by strongly incentivizing testing before travel for nonresidents, we expect to reduce the number of travelers who test positive for COVID-19 after arriving into our state. This will allow us to direct resources to where they are needed most, and will also allow us to offer testing for intrastate travelers to help protect our rural communities.”

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.
    • Testing at arrival remains available at no cost to Alaska residents.
  • The 14-day quarantine option is still available 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.

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