Update on Alaska Travel Protocols
There is good news for travelers who want to visit Alaska this summer and are willing to take some extra precautions, including pre-departure Covid testing and following safe traveler guidelines.
Effective June 6, 2020, travelers to Alaska can avoid the existing 14-day quarantine requirement by testing negative for Covid-19 up to 5 days prior to arriving in the state.
Check out the common questions below to help you prepare for your Alaska travels.
What is the difference between getting tested 72 hours or 5 days before I depart to Alaska?
Your goal should be to get tested and get your negative results back before you depart for Alaska. Ideally, get tested within 72 hours of departure. This allows you to avoid a follow up test upon arrival in Anchorage. If you are not confident you can meet this timeline, then get tested within 5 days of departure and take a follow-up test upon arrival. Both the 72-hour and 5-day test options let you avoid quarantine in Alaska, as long as your test results are negative.
Can I wait and get tested at the airport when I arrive?
We don't currently recommend this option if you are traveling on a prearranged itinerary. The amount of time to get results back is not predictable, so this approach could lead to you being asked to quarantine in Alaska while you are awaiting results.
What if I can't get tested in my home city before my trip?
Check this link for options. If you are traveling later in the summer additional options will likely become available. We also tested FDA approved at-home testing kits in our office, and the Pixel by LabCorp test is promising. We were able to get results back in less than 48 hours, including the shipping time to get the test to their lab. Read more about the test kit process here.
How is the travel mandate enforced?
The Governor has stated publicly that Alaska will rely on the voluntary compliance of travelers from out of state, both visitors and Alaska residents, to follow the interstate travel mandate which includes the testing and quarantine requirements. We strongly encourage all our guests to do their very best to follow the mandate, and the easiest way to do that is to get tested up to five days before leaving home.
How long will the travel mandate or testing requirements be in effect?
The state has not put a timeline on the travel mandate. Travelers with trips in the next 30 days should plan for them. If you are traveling later in the summer, you have some time to see what develops. Keep in mind that testing options in your community will likely become more available in the weeks to come.
What kind of test do I need?
You need a molecular-based test such as a PCR test. FDA approved home self-test kits are accepted. Antibody or serology results are not accepted. There is an exemption for those who have been treated and recovered from Covid-19 if certain requirements are met.
Do I have to get tested again 7-14 days after I arrive in Alaska?
Travelers who have tested prior to departing for Alaska may also get a voucher when they arrive in Alaska good for an optional follow up test to be taken after 7-14 days in Alaska. We don't expect many of our guests to participate in these optional tests based on our typical guest itineraries and testing logistics.
Are there other requirements for traveling to Alaska this summer?
You will need to turn in a traveler declaration form upon arrival. You can print and fill it out in advance, get one upon arrival, or complete it online. Along with the declaration form, you will need to show proof of a negative test. A printout or a screen shot of results on your phone work fine.
While in Alaska, follow safe traveler guidelines like wearing masks on public transportation, avoiding crowded indoor spaces, and minimizing contact when possible. We especially encourage you to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, dog sled tours, ATV tours, glacier walks, kayaking, fishing, rafting, biking, ziplining, and all those things that Alaska is famous for.
See this page for additional items to pack and other safety tips. We will also be sending our guests an email about 21 days prior to departure with the most up to date information, best practices while traveling, where to get needed forms, additional testing options to consider, and other helpful details.
Updated July 3, 2020