Anchorage adds more restrictions on out-of-state travelers

    Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz

    Anchorage, Alaska (AP) - Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has signed an emergency order Friday implementing more stringent coronavirus-related restrictions on out-of-state travelers compared to state regulations.

    Travelers from outside Alaska are now able to avoid a statewide mandatory 14-day quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 but the city of Anchorage has imposed additional regulations that limit some visitors' interactions with residents, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

    Under the current state mandate, out-of-state travelers will need to show proof of their negative COVID-19 results upon arriving in Alaska. Once in the state, travelers are urged to limit interactions until 14 days have passed, until they test negative again in a second test taken seven to 14 days after arrival or until they leave the state, whichever comes first.

    Travelers can also get tested when they arrive in the state and quarantine at their own expense while awaiting the results. They then must take a second test within seven to 14 days after arrival.

    The new rules implemented by the municipality of Anchorage more clearly define what interactions are prohibited but it is unclear how the new policy might be enforced.

    Under Anchorage regulations, out-of-state travelers arriving in Anchorage who took a COVID-19 test before arriving at the airport to board are not allowed to dine in at restaurants or access indoor facilities such as theaters, fitness centers or museums for 14 days and must wear face coverings if around people who are not members of their household. They are allowed to order takeout or curbside delivery and recreate outdoors.

    Travelers who get tested at the airport before boarding a plane will need to fully self-quarantine upon arrival in Anchorage until results are available. Those who test negative will then have to follow the same city regulations.

    Travelers who wait to get tested until arriving in the city must self-quarantine. City rules specify that if the results are negative, travelers must abide by the new policy for 14 days after arrival.

    Anyone who tests positive will need to isolate at their own expense and won’t be allowed to travel until they’re cleared by state public health officials.

    For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

    Anchorage city officials require anyone arriving in the city within 14 days of their arrival in the state to “inform their hotel, rental lodging host, and/or roommates of their quarantine status or whether they are required to minimize in-person interactions,” the order said. “Businesses may refuse to serve people who are in quarantine or minimal-interaction status.”

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