Alaska to Visitors: Get COVID-Tested Before You Arrive

Alaska is taking a judicious approach to welcoming tourists back, with the safety of both visitors and locals its top priority.

“Alaska has some of the lowest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’d like to keep it that way,” the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services website said. “Get tested before you go.”

If testing was conducted within 72 hours prior arrival, and the results are negative, a second test will not be required.

If the testing was conducted between 72-plus hours and five days prior to departure, “a second test will be required and you will need to minimize interactions until you receive the results,” the website said.

Those who arrive without being tested can receive a test in Alaska, but must be quarantined at their own expense for 14 days or until they receive negative results.

“I think our tourism community understands that Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services has developed the best protocols to safeguard both Alaska residents and travelers coming into the state,” said Sarah Leonard, president and CEO of the Alaska Travel Industry Association. “We can all agree that everyone’s health is the priority and we’re grateful that the state has found a way to balance both a reopening of tourism opportunities with safety procedures right now.”

This summer, travelers will find many of Alaska’s accommodations, tours and attractions are open up and running. “We’re encouraging residents to get out and explore Alaska as much as possible this summer and to support our local businesses,” Leonard said. “Alaska is lucky that so much of what draws visitors is our wide-open spaces and natural beauty. For those who want to enjoy the outdoors, Alaska has an abundance of national and state parks and ample opportunities to stay socially distanced at campgrounds, remote lodges and more.”

While there are no statistics available on visitor demographics this summer, anecdotal reports indicate that many travelers are visiting friends and family, Leonard said. “Others are highly motivated to visit Alaska because our low population, access to nature and wide-open spaces are safe attributes during the pandemic.”

She added, “We can assume that those traveling now are comfortable implementing the mandated safety requirements, such as taking a COVID-19 test to enter Alaska.”

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