Alaska to stop testing nonresident travelers for COVID-19 at airports, require negative result

A traveler off of a flight from Seattle makes his way through a COVID-19 screening line at Juneau International Airport on June 26, 2020. (Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

All nonresident travelers to Alaska will be required to have a negative test for the coronavirus before they arrive in the state beginning on Aug. 11. 

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced the change on Tuesday, saying that he wanted to ensure that the state was taking care of Alaskans. 

RELATED: High positive test numbers and village outbreaks signal COVID spread in Interior Alaska

Since early June, Alaska has given nonresidents arriving at airports in the state options: Have a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken days before arrival, test at the airport and quarantine until the result comes back or quarantine for 14 days.

Dunleavy said the state will continue to offer the tests to Alaskans arriving back in the state. But it will no longer offer them to non-Alaskans.

Dunleavy said the state is still working out how it will enforce the changes to the testing requirement. 

RELATED: Two Alaskans die of COVID-19 as case count climbs

Dunleavy said the state will “focus” on requiring tests, when asked if the state will continue to allow non-residents who don’t have negative test results to quarantine themselves for 14 days. 

“If you come to Alaska, you should have a negative,” he said.