Bethel Airport

Current travel restrictions for rural Alaska have been extended, while new restrictions for both instate and out-of-state travelers are set to go into effect on Saturday, November 21, mandated by Health Orders issued recently by Governor Michael Dunleavy, according to a press release issued by his Administration.

Communities located off the Road System or the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMATS) are still permitted to enact travel restrictions to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus, so long as Critical Infrastructure personnel are allowed to travel into rural towns. Local governments must define critical personal needs for residents that need to leave communities, as well as implement testing strategies and protocols for those traveling from road system communities.

Starting just before the holiday season, rural travelers visiting Road System or AMHS communities for less than three days are asked to take a coronavirus test five days after returning home and to follow strict social distancing until negative results are received. Alternatively, if they elect not to be tested, travelers are asked to follow strict social distancing for two weeks upon their return.

Those staying more than three days are asked to get a molecular COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to returning and not leave until a negative test is received. If return travel cannot be delayed until the test result is available, according to the order the traveler must follow strict social distancing until they receive a negative result.

Anyone who is currently infected with COVID-19 must not travel to a community off the Road System or AMHS until they are cleared from isolation by a medical professional. 

Asymptomatic people who have recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days are exempt from travel testing.

Beginning Monday, November 16, a new series of COVID-19 Outbreak Health Orders came into effect under Dunleavy’s new disaster declaration, according to a press release.

The orders continued suspension of some regulations and statues to allow nimble address of the COVID-19 emergency, continued authorization of telemedicine, access to licensees from other jurisdictions, and flexibility to certain licensing boards.

Additionally, specific guidance for critical infrastructure workers including those in commercial fishing, independent harvesters, and seafood processing plants was offered.

One order provides FEMA reimbursement eligibility for temporary non-congregate sheltering and quarantine.

An additional order extends the ability for boards of corporations, non-profits and Alaska Native Corporations to conduct business virtually.  Charitable gaming permittees were also allowed to continue to conduct raffles, lotteries and other contests online.