After months of requiring travelers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entering the state, Alaska is now relaxing that rule as it transitions into a new recovery phase. Previously, travelers were required to show evidence of a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours of the trip, at the airport upon arrival. New health advisories issued by the state on Sunday included the removal of this requirement.
While outlining the next phase of Alaska’s COVID-19 response, Governor Mike Dunleavy said, “My administration will begin moving Alaska, its economy and our lives forward through this transition and recovery process. Make no mistake about it, the virus may be with us for some time. But the data shows that the worst is most likely behind us.”
Although it’s one of the most remote states in the country, Alaska had some of the strictest entry protocols for several months, requiring tests for incoming travelers when the majority of the US did not. Since Alaska is on a positive trajectory with regard to mitigating COVID-19 transmission, officials made the decision to relax the testing requirement.
“No matter what metrics you look at,” said Dunleavy, “Alaska is doing pretty good, probably better than most states. And so this gives us the confidence that as we move forward, we’re going to continue to manage this virus as well or better than most other locales.”