Traveling to Alaska is part of the fun. Commercial airlines typically operate close to on time, but the smaller the plane becomes, and the more vagaries of weather are involved, then traveling to Alaska becomes more of an adventure than a schedule. 2020 made the adventure even more interesting.

     Amid concerns of the spreading COVID-19 pandemic, the state was originally closed to incoming anglers from out of state. As a world society, we began to better understand the disease and came up with strategies to mitigate risk. Eventually, lodges like ours were able to open up, albeit on a limited-occupancy basis. As 2020 continued, we continued to learn what to expect for our guests traveling to Alaska, and from that we can share these basic tips for travel.

     For up to date information on travel restrictions to Alaska, visit this site: https://covid19.alaska.gov/travelers/. In 2020 travelers were required to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entering Alaska. Negative test results were needed in hand in order to avoid self-quarantine until results were received. We heard from travelers that at first, it was fairly easy to get a test, and test results could normally be obtained in time, with some exceptions. As testing became more widespread, then test kits became harder to find.

     One solution conveyed to us was to find a testing center that conducted rapid, drive-up tests like this: https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing. Tests could be scheduled 3-6 days in advance and results were returned within about two hours. Another option is the at-home test.

Here is a list of state of Alaska recommended test providers:

https://www.azovahealth.com/covid_testing_for_patients.html

https://www.pixel.labcorp.com

https://www.everlywell.com/products/covid-19-test/

https://www.vaulthealth.com/covid

https://www.picturegenetics.com/covid19

https://thecovidconsultants.com/#pcr

https://www.immunitirx.com

https://www.azovahealth.com/covid_testing_for_patients.html

     Once you obtain your negative test results, go to the Alaska Travel Portal and fill out a Travel Declaration. Here’s the location: https://www.alaska.covidsecureapp.com. In addition to detailing your travel plan, this is where you upload negative test results. We still think it’s a good idea to bring a paper copy of both when traveling to Alaska.

     When you get to Alaska, follow the basic best practices for minimizing COVID-19 exposure risk. Wash your hands frequently. Wear a mask. Stay six feet away from others not in your group. Avoid touching your face until you have washed or sanitized your hands. Bring a travel-size bottle of sanitizer with you for when you are unable to wash your hands.

     Airlines have become focused on keeping you safe while traveling to Alaska, so this means fewer people on flights and less availability from some locations to get to Alaska. But travel is still safe and very doable. With a vaccine beginning to be administered and with the expectation that the mass public will have access sometime in 2021, now is a great time to book your trip to Kodiak Legends Lodge. We’re here to help you catch fish, enjoy Kodiak, have fun, and to just plain relax. After 2020, we can all use that.