Home Travel New Rules For Traveling To Alaska By Plane & By Driving Through Canada

New Rules For Traveling To Alaska By Plane & By Driving Through Canada

by SharonKurheg

As the coronavirus crisis continues, the rules states have adopted to protect its citizens have been very fluid and change for a variety of reasons. Alaska is the latest to make such changes.

Alaska’s rules had been pretty serious. They required that all persons entering Alaska from another state or country must:

  • Complete a Traveler Declaration Form AND
  • Arrive with proof of qualifying negative COVID-19 test OR
  • Receive a COVID-19 test when you arrive in Alaska, and self-quarantine at your expensive until results arrive OR
  • Self-quarantine at your expense for either 14 days or the duration of your trip whichever is shorter OR
  • Follow the work plan that your employer filed with the State of Alaska.

The rules are changing on August 11th but have already had their own update.

Originally, all non-residents would have to arrive with a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to arrival. Testing would no longer be available for non-residents when they arrived at Alaska airports.

That’s no longer the case.

According to the Alaska government’s website, effective August 11th, non-residents must:

  • Test 72 hours before departure, and upload negative result into the Alaska Travel Portal (link will be available soon)
  • If tested 72 hours before departure and awaiting results, travelers will need to upload proof of test taken into the Alaska Travel Portal and quarantine while waiting.
  • If a non-resident arrives without a pre-test, testing is available for $250 per test. The traveler will be required to quarantine while waiting for results.

It looks as if the major changes are that your test and result must be no more than 72 hours in advance (no time frame was specified beforehand) but if you want to be tested in Alaska, you’ll have to pay $250 to get it (it was previously free, and effective 8/11, was originally not going to be an option anymore). It seems a lot of people were concerned they wouldn’t get their test results back within the 72-hour window. Which, frankly, is a good concern to have, considering it can sometimes take upwards of 2 weeks to get your test results back.

The changes come in time for the aurora viewing season, which begins on August 21. The new rules, before they included the possibility of getting a test in Alaska, had industry operators concerned. But now that visitors can still get a test in Alaska (albeit not for free), it’s all good. Well, as good as it can be, considering.

Meanwhile, in Canada…

Meanwhile, Canada has been having its own problems with U.S. citizens saying they’re traveling through Canada to get to Alaska (which is allowed), but then going to Banff and other tourist areas (which is not allowed).

Therefore, as of July 31, stricter rules about traveling through Canada have been put into place. New measures include tags for cars’ rearview mirrors with a “leave-by” date,  which will be based on when and where they’ve entered Canada in comparison to when you would be expected to reach the Alaska border.

“The front of the tag will make it clear that the travelers are transiting and include the date they must depart Canada,” the border agency said. ” The back of the tag will remind travelers to comply with all conditions imposed upon entry.”
With the new rules, U.S. citizens can only use one of five designated border crossings to enter Canada. Three are in British Columbia, and there’s one each in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Travelers will be limited to travel within Canada using the most direct route from their respective port of entry to the intended port of exit. The new measures also apply when going in the opposite direction, when transiting to the [mainland] U.S. through Canada from Alaska.
Those who fail to comply with border restrictions can expect fines up to $750,000, or spend up to six months in prison.
“If a traveler causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while willfully or recklessly contravening this act or the regulations, they could be liable for up to $1,000,000 in fines, and/or imprisonment of up to 3 years,” the border agency says.
Feature Photo: Bureau of Land Management/flickr

#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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