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 is going to be severely impacted in 2020 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 September 14, 2020 there approximately 8700 cases recorded in Alaska and 58 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, Alaska began it’s “Reopen Alaska Responsibly” Plan. See the plan here. Most businesses are allowed to re-open under this plan with proper social distancing and following CDC cleaning and disinfecting guidelines. This includes hotels, restaurants, lodges, fishing charters and more. You can read the new order here.
As of April 24, state public health guidelines allow travel between communities in Alaska via the road system. Communities not accessible by road are not open for travel.
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, 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.
Travelers are asked to observe various health precautions when out in public, including wearing a cloth face mask indoors, minimizing interactions and washing hands frequently. Everyone in Alaska is being asked to keep social distance and keep away from large gatherings.
On March 20, the international land border between Canada and the United States was closed to non-essential travel and that has been extended until September 21. 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?
Large overnight cruise ship sailings are suspended indefinitely, per an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The order was extended through October 2020, but could be extended or modified before that date.
The Cruise Line Industry has currently suspended all U.S. cruise ship operations until further notice.
The port of Seattle has also delayed opening until after the coronavirus pandemic is under control.
Canada has banned large cruise ship arrivals through October 31, 2020. This ban applies to cruise ships carrying more than 100 passengers, which are prohibited at Canada's ports, nationwide until October 31, 2020.
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. In the ATIA press release from March 12 states:
TravelAlaska Press Release on COVID-19 Travel Tips for Alaska
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