Update for Alaska Travelers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Requirements for Visitors to Alaska:

The State of Alaska is requiring all visitors to be tested for COVID-19 prior to arrival in Alaska.

Arrivals in Alaska June 6 until Aug 10, 2020:
The State of Alaska is requiring all visitors to be tested for COVID-19 at their home base within 5 days before planned flight departure to Alaska. When your flight arrives in Alaska (Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, or other gateway communities with direct flights) you MUST have your PCR test result paperwork with you disclosing your negative test results. If you do not have this record with you, you will be tested at the airport and are required to quarantine until results are received, which may delay or potentially cancel your planned Alaska vacation. If you were tested more than 72 hours but less than 5 days prior, you will have to be retested upon arrival at the airport. However, you do not have to quarantine while waiting for your results. You can travel as planned, as long as you following safety and distancing guidelines.

You will be asked to minimize interaction with the community and preferably take a second test 7 to 14 days after arrival in Alaska. If you depart from Alaska within 14 days of arrival, this second test is not mandatory.  However, you will be asked to minimize your public interactions. Minimizing interactions does not mean quarantine, but you do need to take more precautions than the usual COVID safety advice such as when you buy food, eat in outdoor setting or order delivery if possible (many restaurants will offer outdoor seating).  Wearing a face mask/covering in public areas will also be important.  If you have to be in an indoor space, such as taking a short flight or riding in a shuttle to get to your lodge or outdoor activity, then everyone involved should wash their hands thoroughly and wear a face mask/covering.

Arrivals in Alaska starting Aug 11, 2020:
The State of Alaska is requiring all visitors to arrive in Alaska with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to flight departure or proof of a pending test result from a test taken within 72 hours prior to flight departure. If tested 72 hours before departure and awaiting results, travelers will need to upload proof of test taken into the Alaska Travel Portal and quarantine while waiting. If visitors arrive in Alaska without a pre-test, testing is available at the airport for $250 per test. The traveler will be required to quarantine while waiting on results (it typically takes 3 to 10 days for the test results to come back).

COVID-19 Home Test Kits:
If there are limitations to testing in your home town, there are FDA approved home test kits that are also accepted by the State of Alaska. Those are:
Pixel System from Labcorp
Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit
Vault Health
Picture Genetics

Please read the official State of Alaska Covid-19 Traveler Information page and the Frequently Asked Questions information page. If you have questions or comments about the government mandates, the State of Alaska traveler hotline is 907-646-3322.

As you prepare to fly to Alaska for your next GREAT adventure, be sure to check with the current TSA guidelines as well as your airline, as policies may differ. The State of Alaska also requires you to complete a Traveler Declaration Form. We recommend downloading it at home before going to the airport.

Please enjoy our beautiful state safely!

Latest Alaska COVID-19 Updates

Our top priority is keeping everyone safe and following State of Alaska HEALTH DIRECTIVES.

USA National News

  • “No sail” order for cruise ships (Currently effective for ships of 250 passengers or more, from April 15 through July 24) has caused all major lines to cancel their entire Alaska cruise season for 2020.
  • US / Canadian border continues to be closed to non-essential travel until August 21.

News about Alaska Tourism Services

  • Some cities are requiring face coverings while in public indoor spaces, including Anchorage, Valdez, and Seward.
  • Alaska Railroad delayed their opening date to July 1, 2020. All passengers are required to wear masks.
  • Glacier Bay Lodge and Glacier Bay Day Tour will be closed/will not operate for the summer of 2020.
  • Katmai National Park has delayed the Brooks Falls / Brooks Lodge opening date to July 1 for day trips and August 10 for overnight stays.
  • Denali National Park is opening in phases, starting June 13.

If your trip is affected in any way by new restrictions, closures, or changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic we will contact you promptly to discuss options.

Alaska is ready for you! We hope you will come to see beautiful landscapes, watch our amazing wildlife and experience pure nature without the crowds!

Brighten Your Day: Dive Into Alaska From Home

Not being able to travel to Alaska in the short term doesn’t mean you have to give up on your Alaska dream! When the pandemic is over – and we will beat this together – Alaska will be here, as pristine and vibrant as ever.

Right now, everyone is yearning for some good news and something to look forward to so… even though we know it’s not the same as being here in person, this is a great time to experience Alaska virtually through books, shows, and social media. We’d like to share some of our personal favorites with you!

Books to Read: Alaska Tours “Editors Picks” & Reading List

  • Whale Snow by Debby Edwardson – a children’s picture book about traditional Iñupiaq life
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George – a great fiction book for elementary school kids about the intersection of traditional and modern life in Alaska
  • Blessings Bead by Debby Edwardson – a young adult historical fiction novel about the meaning of family and finding a place in the world
  • Two Old Women by Velma Wallis – a women vs. nature novel based on a traditional Athabascan legend
  • Sailor Song by Ken Kesey – a fun, mildly dark fiction story about the clash between local hippies and Hollywood
  • Drop City by T.C. Boyle – an entertaining novel about moving to Alaska to start a utopic commune in the wilderness
  • To Build a Fire by Jack London – a short story of a man and a dog trying to survive a journey
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – a mesmerizing, tear-jerker novel based in 1920’s Alaska
  • Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner – a fictional coming-of-age story about a caucasian boy growing up in an Alaska Native village
  • Alaska by James Michener – this historical fiction novel takes you on an engaging saga that covers centuries of Alaska’s history
  • One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith – Dick Proenneke’s memoir about living in the wilderness that has become Lake Clark National Park, also made into the PBS documentary Alone in the Wilderness
  • Coming into the Country by John McPhee – true stories of Alaskan land development and protection in the formative decade of the 1970s (this book got three votes!)
  • Only in Alaska by Tay Thomas – an autobiography about moving her family to Alaska and the hilarious changes to their daily lives
  • Last Light Breaking by Nick Jans – 23 firsthand, poetic essays about life in the land of the Iñupiaq
  • A School Teacher in Old Alaska: The Story of Hannah Breece edited by Jane Jacobs – an autobiographical account of a rural teacher during the Gold Rush era
  • To the Arctic by Florian Schulz – a gorgeous coffee table book
  • Riversong Lodge Cookbook by Kirsten Dixon – a mix of storytelling and recipes, giving you a delicious taste of Alaska

What We’re Watching: Recommended Alaska Films, TV Shows and Videos

  • Into the Wild – a Sean Penn adaptation of the book about Christopher McCandless’s escape from civilization to Denali
  • Never Cry Wolf – a favorite Disney movie from our childhoods about a researcher in the Arctic
  • The Proposal – a charming rom-com set in Sitka starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds
  • Togo – a new Disney movie about sled dogs saving a community during a deadly diphtheria outbreak
  • Balto – a 1995 animated film about the same famous serum run to save lives during the 1925 diphtheria outbreak
  • Big Miracle – a heartwarming based-on-a-true-story whale rescue (our old office was part of the set!)
  • White Fangthe classic Jack London novel starring a young Ethan Hawke
  • The Call of the Wild – a brand new version of another Jack London adventure
  • Mardy Murie: Arctic Dance – a documentary of her life, narrated by Harrison Ford with music by John Denver
  • Bears – an impressive Disney documentary about a year-in-the-life of a bear family in Katmai National Park
  • Northern Exposure – Not filmed in Alaska, but a fun 90’s sitcom that’s a good representation of life in the north
  • Ultimate Survival Alaska­ – a Nat Geo reality competition in the wilds of Alaska
  • Gold Rush – Discovery Channel’s reality show about mining near Haines
  • Molly of Denali – a PBS Kids cartoon paired with games and activities
  • Deadliest Catch – the harrowing and entertaining reality show about crab fishing in Alaska

Surf the Web: Browse Fun Places to Hang Out in Alaska Online

Thank You to Our Wonderful Clients

As we all deal with these difficult circumstances, our team members at Alaska Tours are working remotely from our homes and juggling our kids and trips to the grocery store – just like you are. We are keeping ourselves motivated by sharing stories from our clients, some of whom have taken the time to be incredibly gracious as you adjust your travel plans with our help.

Thanks to our clients who have shared some wonderful comments, just like these…

Thank you so much for working with us. I can tell you we will be contacting you guys next year for a trip as this company has done such an excellent job of working with us during this time and we really do want to take the tour offered. Thank you again! – Monica 

Always a pleasure to work with professionals such as you. We will certainly keep you and our plans for our eventual cruise to Alaska whenever the world cleans up. – Rick and Linda 

Many thanks for your answer and your understanding. Next time, when we’ll come in Alaska, without hesitation we’ll to contact you for a trip. Take care, too. – Didier 

Once again, thank you for all your wonderful help with all aspects of our trip. You do a great job and are such a nice person! I would love to hear from you in September and we can see if this virus has been whacked into place and out of our worries! – Nancy

Just wanted to send you a note to say I am thinking of you in this crazy and surreal time. We are so happy we had our dream trip last year, and so grateful for all your help in making it happen. I hope you are safe and healthy. – Kris

Stay safe, stay well, stay kind, stay sane – and we’ll see you soon – up in Alaska!