COVID 19 & ALASKA SAFE TRAVELS
The information for traveling to Alaska can be confusing and rapidly changing. I am hoping I can shed some light on the requirements for travel to Alaska for the summer of 2021. Following I will discuss COVID test requirements and the Alaska Safe
The most common questions we have received lately are:
Do I need a COVID test? Even if I have received two doses of the vaccine?
What is Alaska requiring for entry to Alaska?
I will admit, there is a lot of confusing information out there; Kelly and I took a moment to see if we could decipher the information for you.
As of today 4.24.21 this is a screen shot from the State of Alaska's official COVID website's FAQ page. No, testing prior to arriving in Alaska is not required but is STRONGLY encouraged. They are offering free testing at the airport which leads me to believe that while it is not required, they would prefer you are tested, even if you have completed your COVID vaccine.
Here at Waters Edge, our goal is to stay healthy and open all summer long. Because of the remoteness of our lodge and the lack of medical services readily available in Southeast Alaska, we would prefer that you receive a negative COVID test before arriving at the lodge.
**Please be aware that testing requirements may change at any time so please review their website prior to your travel. We will also try and keep you informed as we receive updates. covid19.alaska.gov
P.S. Yes, you still have to wear a mask on the commercial airliner and on the commercial catamaran...sorry, I don't have any control over that. I have serious mask fatigue but fishing in Alaska is worth wearing the mask!
At Waters Edge Lodge we continue to perform our high level of sanitation, provide hand sanitizer and do all in our power to keep everyone happy and healthy while in Elfin Cove.
ALASKA SAFE TRAVELS FORM
All travelers will need to complete an Alaska Safe Travels form through the Alaska Safe Travel portal. https://www.alaska.covidsecureapp.com/ If you traveled to Alaska in 2020 you either completed a travel declaration form when you arrived at the airport or completed one online. This is the same form, same login if you completed one online, and helps Alaska minimize the spread of COVID-19 through contact tracing. It is a simple way to keep your information easy to access for the Health Department in Alaska if needed; they do follow HIPPA guidelines for your privacy.
I took a moment to sign up on the Alaska Safe Travel Portal (last year we were at the beginning of all of this and completed a paper form); it is simple and only requires your name, address, phone number, email and a password. Once in the portal you can upload COVID test or vaccination records, add children or spouses and complete a Safe Travels Form. I decided to complete the Safe Travels Form as a non-testee and non-vaccinee (are those words?!).
I put in my phone number, travel dates, selected my mode of travel which popped up the list of commercial airports to choose from. As soon as I chose "I have not received either" for testing or vaccine, the nice offer below my choice popped up; how nice to offer a free test at the airport. The other options were: I have the test with results, I have the test without results and I have had the vaccine. Then click, "Continue." I will be honest I expected a request for more travel details that would take a minute or two to complete but to my surprise, look what popped up!
My Safe Travels Form has been successfully submitted. TaDa!
Now, you may be wondering where this information went, yeah, me too. I couldn't find it on my profile so I guess it is in some database somewhere. I feel a little guilty because I was so surprised by the lack of information request that I may have submitted another one with false dates, just to be sure. Sorry my IT friends out there if that really screws things up!
I hope this clears the water a little and helps answer some of the questions about travel into Alaska. Our crew start going up in the next few weeks and we will let them be the guinea pigs...ha! Also, Kelly and I monitor any COVID declarations, news updates and other information closely and like I said earlier, if there is a change we will try to notify you immediately. I would suggest checking their website 2 weeks before your travel just to be sure. It wouldn't hurt to check your commercial flight information as well, times have changed a little and will likely change some before the summer.
Now, let's go catch some fish! ~ Momma Mary