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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions have been compiled from questions asked during press briefings, emailed to covidquestions@alaska.gov or asked on 2-1-1.

For questions about COVID-19 vaccines in Alaska: Please visit the DHSS COVID-19 Vaccine Information for All Alaskans webpage.

For basic COVID-19 questions: Please visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions webpage

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Review All of the Frequently Asked Questions

Travel Questions

UPDATED 10/1/21

Due to Canada’s current travel restrictions for U.S. citizens, only essential road travel is allowed in or out of Alaska until further notice. Alaska border crossings include Haines, Hyder, Skagway, and Little Gold (Tok) Alaska – as well as Beaver Creek in the Yukon Territory.

For more information about Canadian border restrictions, contact: Canada Border Services Agency at 1-800-461-9999 or visit their website.

Traveling to Canada through Tok? Be advised that capacity for COVID testing at the border is limited in Tok. It is highly recommended that you obtain testing in your home community, Anchorage, or Fairbanks beforehand. Limited testing is currently available in Tok. Please call ahead and schedule your test with Capstone at (907) 864-4642. Calling ahead will assure your spot and speed up the process. Please keep in mind that test results can take up to 72 hours. For more information, visit COVID-19 vaccinated travelers entering Canada.

Please visit the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities website for more information navigating road travel along the Canadian Border.

Posted on March 23, 2021

If you are a uniformed crewmember arriving to an air terminal and going immediately into controlled lodging for crew rest before flying the following day, you do not have to fill out a Traveler Declaration Form or go through the arrival screening. If you are returning home for a longer break and will not be in controlled lodging or departing the following day, it is strongly recommended that you fill out a Traveler Declaration Form and go through entry screening. You do not need to test unless it is required by your airline.

UPDATED 3/22/21
Screening for all domestic cargo flight crews is strongly encouraged and available at the airport at no cost. All flight crews arriving to the State of Alaska directly from a foreign airport must still meet the Federal requirement for a pre-travel test, put forth by the CDC. Air Crew members should still be following the guidance of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) 20009.

UPDATED 3/22/21

Testing for all non-resident travelers is strongly encouraged and available at the airport at no cost.

UPDATED 3/22/21

COVID-19 testing is recommended three days prior to travel to locations on the road system and the Alaska Marine Highway System. Without a test, strict social distancing should be followed.

Expectations apply for communities allowing travel Critical Infrastructure personnel, as well as for community members and Critical Personal needs.

UPDATED 3/22/21

Yes, free airport testing is available to anyone who wants it. There is no state-mandated requirement for intrastate travelers to test prior to travel or to quarantine while waiting for these test results. However, intrastate travelers need to check with the community they are traveling to and must comply with all local requirements to mitigate the introduction of COVID-19 in remote communities.

Communities should not prevent residents from returning home but can consider enacting protective measures to mitigate potential introduction/spread of the virus, such as encouraging a pre-travel test, a period of strict social distancing after arrival, or bracketed testing before and after that period..

Visit the Safe Travels Alaska community webpage for local travel requirements required by specific communities.

UPDATED 3/22/21

No. However, local communities may enact travel restrictions. Check before you go! Many communities have set up their own travel rules. Visit the Safe Travels Alaska community webpage for local travel requirements required by specific communities.

UPDATED 3/22/21

It’s strongly encouraged that anyone traveling to Alaska complete the Travel Declaration Form and Self-Isolation Plan on the Alaska Travel Portal (www.alaska.covidsecureapp.com) and test 72 hours prior to arrival in Alaska, or as soon as you enter Alaska.

UPDATED 3/22/21

No molecular-based test for SARS-CoV2 is required for either immediately before travel or upon arrival, but testing is strongly encouraged including a second test 5-14 days after arrival into Alaska. However, the CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the 3 months after a positive viral test, as long as you do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

UPDATED 3/22/21

The voucher provides a medical order for travelers to get a second SARS CoV2 molecular-based test 5-14 days after the initial point of entry into Alaska. It alleviates the need for an asymptomatic person to be seen by a medical provider to receive an order for the test.

UPDATED 3/22/21

No. The state is using a PCR swab test. Depending on the location and available resources, some test results may be rapid while others may take up to 72 hours.

UPDATED 3/22/21
Molecular tests for SARS CoV-2 such as variations of PCR, CEPHIED GENEXPERT, BIOFIRE or ABBOTT IDNOW are recommended.

Antigen tests are not recommended because they are more likely to miss an active coronavirus infection compared to molecular tests. Antibody (serology) tests are also not recommended given because they do not provide evidence of current infection.

Molecular-based SARS-CoV-2 tests detect the presence of viral RNA (genes), such as reverse transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (rt-PCR, e.g. Cepheid GeneXpert, KIngFisher System, ABI 7500 system), Transcription Mediated Amplification (TMA, e.g. the Hologic Panther system), and Isothermal Nucleic Acid Amplification (e.g. Abbott ID-NOW). Alaska accepts results from FDA-approved home self-test swab kits.

UPDATED 2/23/21

You will be required to isolate at your own expense for a minimum of 10 days, or until you are cleared by a public health nurse. You will not be able to fly unless cleared by public health. Every traveler into Alaska is asked to fill out a three-question self-isolation plan in the Alaska Travel Portal.

UPDATED 3/22/21

Strict social distancing is recommended while you wait for test results, unless you are fully vaccinated (two weeks have passed since receiving your final dose of vaccine).  You can be in an outdoor public place, but you should remain six feet away from anyone not in your immediate household, and you should wear a face covering. You should arrange curbside shopping or have food delivery. You should not enter restaurants, bars, gyms, community centers, sporting facilities (i.e., ice rinks, gymnasiums, and sports domes), office buildings, and school or daycare facilities. Please do not participate in any group activities, including sporting events and practices, weddings, funerals, or other gatherings.

UPDATED 3/22/21

If you have arrived in Alaska and your test results are pending or you tested at the airport upon arrival, please practice “strict social distancing” until you receive your negative result. However, if you are fully vaccinated (two weeks have passed since your final dose), we no longer recommend any period of “strict social distancing”

UPDATED 3/22/21

Yes, most airport locations providing testing will perform the second test 5-14 days later but confirm with the testing site at the airport their hours and availability.

UPDATED 3/22/21

It’s strongly suggested that all travelers into Alaska obtain testing before they travel. If they wish to test upon arrival, testing is available at no cost at the following airports:

  • Anchorage
  • Fairbanks
  • Juneau
  • Ketchikan
  • Sitka
  • Wrangell
  • Petersburg
  • Cordova
  • Yakutat
  • Gustavus

UPDATED 3/22/21

Travelers are strongly encouraged to complete the Travel Declaration Form found online at the Alaska Travel Portal at www.alaska.covidsecureapp.com

Updated 3/22/21

No, but testing prior to arriving in Alaska is strongly encouraged. Testing at the airport upon arrival in Alaska is available for both residents and non-residents at no cost. No insurance is required. Testing prior to arrival is still recommended for fully vaccinated persons.

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