ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Since the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Alaska back in March, the State of Alaska has issued 18 Health Mandates. The first health mandate being issued March 13, one day after the first COVID-19 case in Alaska was announced.
Currently, there are five health mandates in effect, one of them being health mandate 010 which discusses international and interstate travel. Specifically, it addresses who must self-quarantine.
Updated on May 15, the mandate states “The purpose of this mandate to control the ingress to Alaska from outside localities to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Under the mandate, people who enter Alaska, even residents, must self-quarantine for 14 days and are only allowed to leave for medical emergencies. Meaning, if you arrive in Alaska, you must go from the airport straight to the location where you will self- quarantine. The only exemptions are employees of critical infrastructure industries.
Those who enter Alaska are asked to fill out a traveler declaration form, which asks people to list the specific places traveled within the last two weeks before arriving in Alaska. It also asks where the person will be self-quarantining.
The mandate was signed by the governor on March 11 and violation of the mandate could result in a fine of up to $25,000 as well as possible imprisonment for up to one year. As of the writing of this article, the mandate is set to expire on June 2 unless extended or modified.
According to the health mandate 010 FAQ page, ” At this time, travel within the state of Alaska is not restricted by this mandate, though public health guidance in Health Alert 009 issued March 20 calls for avoiding non-essential in-state trips.”
Health Mandate 009 has since been superseded, but health mandate 018 directly talks about interstate travel.
In health mandate 018 updated May 22, people are permitted to travel but must follow conditions and guidelines.
- You are allowed to travel between communities on the road system and/or accessible through the marine highway system.
- You are not allowed to travel to communities off the road system and that are not accessible through the marine highway system. The only exceptions are for “critical personal needs” like food, fuel, and medical needs. And if you need to conduct “essential services/critical infrastructure”
The mandate points out if you do travel interstate, “travelers should take appropriate protective measures while traveling, such as wearing cloth face coverings, practicing social distancing, and washing hands frequently.”
Thursday during a press conference, Governor Dunleavy addressed the quarantine.
“We’ve had this 14-day quarantine that we think that has contributed significantly to our numbers, keeping them low,” Dunleavy said. “ We’re working on some protocols to be able to try to have some outside folks to come to Alaska to help with the very businesses that we are talking about today, that are seasonal, that are tourist-related, fishing related, etc.”
Dunleavy says Friday there will be some announcement made on the quarantine, where more light will be shed on protocols and advisories as he says the state does its best to keep Alaskans safe but also open up the economy.
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