Travel restrictions lifted in Alaska as COVID-19 emergency declaration expires

Published: Feb. 14, 2021 at 5:44 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - You no longer have to provide a negative COVID-19 test when you arrive in Alaska. Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced the state’s emergency declaration expired at 12:00 a.m. Sunday.

“From what we can see with each passing day, with more folks getting a vaccination, every day that goes by, we’re going to get closer, and closer, and closer to getting back to normal,” Dunleavy said during a Sunday afternoon news conference as he explained why he did not extend the order.

“Yeah that’s neat, I like that,” said Kenai’s Virginia Beaver as she got ready to fly to Virginia for business. “We’re not going to be so restricted on what we can and can’t do. These masks, we have to wear them everywhere we go.”

The governor encourages people who arrive in Alaska to voluntarily get tested. It remains free for Alaskans and visitors. Until Sunday, those from out of state had to pay a $250 fee.

“I wish I knew this a few days ago before I had to $125 for my test,” said Michael Edosada who is on his way home to Tarzana, California.

Alaska will continue to monitor COVID-19 around the state. Dunleavy has not ruled out emergency declarations in the future if the number of cases gets too high.

“There’s still a virus. There’s still a lot of work to be done,” the governor said. “But the emergency itself is behind us.”

For Alaska, that means taking a big step in returning life back to normal.

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