Coronavirus COVID-19 in Alaska – What you need to know.
Are you planning a trip to Alaska and concerned about the Coronavirus COVID-19? We think it’s fair to say, we all are. We’ve put together a list of FAQs and resource links from around the State of Alaska to help you find up-to-date information related to traveling to Alaska during this pandemic. The spread of this Coronavirus Pandemic has touched every corner of the world, including Alaska. Tourism to Alaska and around the world has been severely impacted due to this pandemic. However, we hope to supply potential visitors with accurate information from reliable sources so you can make informed decisions.
How many cases of coronavirus are in Alaska?
As of January 11, 2021 there approximately 49,000 cases recorded in Alaska and 223 deaths. Alaska, has one of the lowest infection rates of any state, and has the second lowest number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. (worldometers.info)
Up-to-date information can be found at this website:
Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)
Is Alaska safe to travel to during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
On May 22, 2020 Alaska began it’s “Reopen Alaska Responsibly” Plan. See the plan here. Most businesses were allowed to re-open under this plan. However, from December 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021 an emergency order was put in place that returns Alaska to a modified “Hunker Down” order. You can read the new order here. Starting in January, 2021, there is a new “Easing Up” order in place that eases some restrictions, but keeps many of the restrictions from the previous order in place. Restaurants and bars are allowed 25% capacity and also have reduced operating hours. See the full order here.
New arrival rules for air travel to Alaska began on June 5.
Since June 5, arrivals have been allowed to arrive in Alaska and avoid the 14-day quarantine if they have a negative test for COVID-19 in the past 72 hours. Visitors will also be required to get a second test upon arrival, but do not have to quarantine while waiting for the results of the second test.
Starting August 11, 2020 all non-residents will require a negative test for COVID-19 in the past 72 hours. It will no longer be possible to arrive without a negative test. Click here for the latest mandate.
On March 20, 2020 the international land border between Canada and the United States was closed to non-essential travel and that has been extended until January 21, 2021, but is likely to be extended further. Commercial shipments are still able to cross the border and there is a free flow of essential trade. It is not currently possible for visitors or tourists to cross between Canada and the United States.
Are cruise ships going to Alaska?
Having now passed the Alaska cruise season, we are waiting to see if cruising will return in 2021. Signs are good that it will return in time for the 2021 Alaska cruise season.
The CDC 'No Sail" order expired on October 31, 2020 and was replaced by a conditional, phased in approach. However, this approach has a number of phases focused on health and safety protocols and does not immediately see the return of passenger journeys. When passengers can return to cruising, is still unknown.
Canada has banned large cruise ship arrivals through February 28, 2021. This ban applies to cruise ships carrying more than 100 passengers, which are prohibited at Canada's ports, nationwide.
Passengers will need to directly contact cruise lines to see how they are planning to reschedule cruises during these restrictions.
Helpful Alaska Travel Resources for the COVID-19 Pandemic
The webpage for the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA) will be the most up-to-date organization for the effects of COVID-19 on Alaska tourism.
Helpful travel related links for staying healthy at home and during travel are posted at the CDC website.
For information on how COVID-19 is affecting travel to the Yukon & Northern BC, click here