Between travel bans and mandatory 14-day quarantines, international travel may be much trickier for the foreseeable future. U.S. travelers are planning to stay closer to home – but even some states have travel restrictions.
Hawaii is planning to reopen in August after essentially shutting down travel for months, requiring a recent negative COVID-19 test to avoid a mandatory quarantine. New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey are imposing a 14-day mandatory quarantine for visitors from several states.
But what about Alaska? Alaska has remained largely open to travelers, but it was one of the first states to implement restrictions on who can get in. Still, it’s looking like a safe bet for summer travel, with amazing scenery and wide-open spaces.
What do you need to visit Alaska?
Requirements to Travel to Alaska
Alaska was one of the first states to create entry requirements for visitors. And those requirements revolve mostly around testing.
But first, every traveler must fill out a State of Alaska Travel Declaration online prior to arrival. Whether you’re arriving by land, air, or sea, there are a few ways Alaska will let you in. Here are your options for COVID-19 testing to get into Alaska:
- Present a negative COVID-19 result from a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. Then take a second test within 7-14 days of arrival (this is not required if your stay is less than seven days).
- Present a negative COVID-19 result from a test taken up to five days before departure, and get tested again immediately upon arrival. Finally, you’ll be required to take a third test within 7-14 days of arrival (this is not required if your stay is less than seven days).
- Take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at a testing site and self-quarantine until you receive negative results. Travelers will also get a voucher for a second test that must be taken 7-14 days after arrival (this second test isn’t required if you stay less than seven days).
- Travelers also have the option to skip a test and simply self-quarantine for 14 days.
Whew, got all that?
The easiest way is likely option 1, taking a test within 72 hours of departure for Alaska. And it’s worth stressing that the test must be taken within that timeframe. You don’t need to have received results within the last 72 hours.
That means you can still head for Alaska even if you’re awaiting results – you’ll simply need to quarantine until you can provide a negative test result.
Is Alaska Open for Business?
Like most states across the nation, Alaska is in the midst of a phased re-opening.
Most hotels are open and many restaurants are open, with limited capacity. If you’re planning on camping or visiting national parks, make sure to check out the Alaska Department of Natural Resource’s list with information on which parks are open, closed, and those with limited service.
Between Alaska and Hawaii, this testing model could become the new norm for states looking to welcome travelers while controlling the spread of coronavirus.
Alaska’s system is a bit confusing, but it should allow you to go ahead with that summer or fall trip.