Traveling to Alaska allows anglers and hunters from around the globe the opportunity to fish and hunt in one of America’s great playgrounds. Sure, 2020 was a challenging year with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but after some initial uncertainty, policies have been implemented by the State of Alaska to allow for safe travel. This blog has been created to better help you understand the travel restrictions put in place, how to avoid some pitfalls, and the best practices for traveling to Alaska safely.
Current restrictions for those traveling to Alaska can be found here. Of primary importance, travelers need a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 or less hours before travel. This means that if you intend to enter Alaska on 02/01/2021, then you would need to take the test on 01/29/2021 or later. If you will enter the state at noon, we’d advise that you take your test in the late afternoon on 01/29/2021 and that gives you a little wiggle room if the flights are late and gives you the maximum amount of time to get the results back before getting on a flight.
In 2020, some visitors struggled to find test locations that could test and provide results in a timely fashion. We found that locations like the ones provided at Walgreens were a good solution. They set up tests from 3-6 days ahead of time and deliver the results back within a few hours. Check out this site to see if there is a location near you. Other companies provide a similar service.
As 2020 progressed, home-testing options began to spring up. Here is a list of the ones that the state of Alaska recommends for those traveling to Alaska:
These tests require scheduling and for the test to be shipped back to the respective lab, so if you are traveling to Alaska, we recommend you make sure the testing company can meet your timeline.
Once you have negative results in hand, then the state of Alaska requires that travelers fill out a Travel Declaration. This is also where you upload your negative test results. We recommend that you bring a paper copy of your declaration and negative test results as backup.
Once you make it to the Great Land, then it’s smart to follow best practices that have been established for slowing the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from others outside your group, wash your hands often or use sanitizer, and avoid touching your face. There are some great outfitters who are best set up for the maximum distancing of groups. Feel free to reach out to us by email or fill out our online trip planner and let us know of your specific group goals and we can assist with some recommendations. The recently released vaccines offer great hope to get this disease under control, but in the meantime, take these precautions seriously.
Traveling to Alaska is an amazing experience filled with sights and sounds that most of us don’t get to encounter in everyday life. Many were left on the sideline in 2020, wondering how and if to safely travel to Alaska. Use these guidelines and you can plan a safe and rewarding outdoor adventure in Alaska in 2021 and get back to enjoying the incredible angling opportunities only found by those living in and traveling to Alaska.