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Alaska’s new COVID-19 rules for travelers from out of state take effect Friday

Passengers read COVID-19 testing instructions at the testing site in the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on July 17, 2020. (Emily Mesner / ADN archive)

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The rules for traveling into Alaska are shifting once again and becoming slightly less restrictive, state health officials said Thursday.

The updated health mandate for travelers coming in from out of state allows for a shorter period of strict social distancing and gets rid of a secondary testing requirement. The new policy goes into effect Friday morning at 12:01 a.m.

Before the changes, incoming travelers were supposed to maintain strict social distancing — avoiding indoor settings like bars, gyms, offices and schools — for 14 days, though that period could have been cut down after a second negative COVID-19 test taken at least a week after arrival. Now, that time for strict social distancing has been sliced down to five days, and the second test is optional.

On top of that, Alaska residents who leave the state for 72 hours or less won’t need a test anymore, though they’re still supposed to monitor themselves for symptoms. Previously, the testing exemption applied only to residents who would be out of state for less than 24 hours.

Residents and nonresidents alike coming into Alaska from out of state still have to: 1. arrive with negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure, or 2. have proof that they’ve taken the test and self-quarantine until they get their results. A 14-day quarantine option is still available only to Alaskans.

If arriving travelers cannot get tested beforehand, they can take a free test at the airport if they’re Alaska residents. Nonresidents can also test at the airport, but they must pay $250 for the test.

REVISED TRAVEL PROTOCOLS TAKE EFFECT TOMORROW Health Mandate 10, which addresses requirements regarding travel into...

Posted by Alaska Health and Social Services on Thursday, October 15, 2020

Travelers to Alaska who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days don’t need to take another test before or after arriving here if they show proof of their prior positive test result, are no longer experiencing symptoms and provide a note from a doctor or public health official stating that they are no longer in isolation.

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