Alaska's Mandatory Coronavirus Test Policy Has Ended, as of 2/14/21. Previously, all out-of-state visitors to Alaska had to provide a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours prior to arrival, with test results uploaded to the Alaska Travel Portal. Only Hawaii has a stricter coronavirus testing policy, mandating a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours prior to boarding the flight to Hawaii. See our Hawaii COVID-19 Testing Update.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavey announced that he was allowing the state's emergency declaration to expire due to the reduced number of cases and increased vaccinations. At time of writing, Alaska has seen a 54% drop in average new daily cases, with just 11 new cases daily per 100,000 people, of the best states in the country, along with Oregon, Michigan, North Dakota and Hawaii.
It is possible for arriving visitors to voluntarily get a free COVID-19 test; until 2/12/21, it cost $250 for out of state visitors.
The news that a COVID-19 test is no longer required in the 72 hours prior to arrival could be helpful in encouraging U.S. visitors to visit Alaska during what is likely to be an otherwise terrible year for Alaska tourism, which relies heavily on cruise visitors. Major cruise lines will be unable to operate Alaska cruises in summer 2021 absent a significant change to the U.S. Passenger Vessel Services Act. Most cruise ships are foreign flagged, and U.S. cabotage laws (the same laws that prevent foreign airlines from operating domestic U.S. itineraries) mean that Alaskan cruises must stop in Canada as part of their itinerary. But Canada has banned cruise activity until at least February 28, 2022.
Cruise lines with smaller, U.S. flagged vessels, such as UnCruise Adventures and Lindblad Expeditions, are still able to cruise Alaska. TravelSort Clients enjoy onboard credit with select sailings, contact us for details. The silver lining for those wanting to avoid crowds in Alaskan destinations is that summer 2021 in Alaska is likely to be devoid of large cruise ships.
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