Photo: Karolina Grabowska

Airports in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Wrangell and Gustavus now have on-site COVID-19 testing, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, with another site expected to open soon in the Petersburg airport.

The State of Alaska is currently "strongly encouraging" coronavirus testing within 72 hours prior to departure. If they can show a negative result upon landing they do not have quarantine in Alaska, those who test within five days prior to departure also do not have to quarantine if they take another test at the airport when they land in Alaska, according to state officials.

“Testing before you travel – within five days prior of departure – is your best bet for a safe and enjoyable visit to Alaska. You will be able to enjoy your time in Alaska without quarantine,” said Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum. “We realize it’s not easy in many places to get tested without having any symptoms, but we’re asking travelers to try. This is the best option for travelers and will also help conserve our state’s resources.”

Travelers are given a voucher, which offsets the costs of testing in Alaska after insurance is billed, for a follow-up test to be taken 7-14 days after arrival in Alaska.

“Traveling during a pandemic comes with risks and challenges,” said Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable trip, so please take precautions and prepare ahead. We recommend travelers purchase evacuation, medical and travel insurance and use online options to obtain fishing licenses or other needed items. Travelers should know that Alaska’s medical infrastructure is limited, so please come prepared.”

State officials say Alaska is first rolling out these mandate revisions with air travelers but will soon be increasing engagement with travelers arriving into Alaska by land and sea.

The state is piloting an online application that allows travelers to complete the Alaska Travel Declaration Form via the app, as well as receive results for testing done at the airports. This is being tested at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport by Capstone Clinic with possible expansion statewide.