Alaska Gov. Dunleavy will leave quarantine mandate in place for two more weeks

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a news conference in March. (Office of the Governor)

The required two-week quarantine for people arriving in Alaska will remain in place for 14 more days, Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Friday.

Dunleavy’s quarantine mandate has been credited with helping to keep Alaska’s COVID-19 case count the lowest of any state’s, and it was set to expire Tuesday. The extension will run two weeks from that date, Dunleavy said at a news conference Friday.

Alaska’s quarantine order has helped thwart COVID-19 but devastated tourism. Will Dunleavy keep it?

The required quarantine has posed a challenge to tourism businesses in particular, who say it’s unlikely that visitors will pay to spend two weeks in a hotel in Alaska before starting their vacations.

Read all of Alaska Public Media’s COVID-19 coverage here

Complying with the mandate has also cost millions of dollars for businesses in oil and gas and fishing that rely on seasonal workers, who have been housed in hotels before flying to jobs on the North Slope and at seafood processing plants.

But representatives from each of those industries say they have not been lobbying officials to overturn the mandate, acknowledging the decision is best left to public health officials.