Traveling to Alaska in 2020 was a different experience than in years past. Yeah, we all know the elephant in the room that made airline travel more challenging. But the human spirit to adventure and explore is indomitable, and after a few months of quarantine, we were in a position to come up with a plan to keep travelers and employees as safe as possible from COVID-19. We are thankful that we were able to take an abundant amount of Alaska residents out fishing this summer with the drop in non-resident visits from the changing travel regulations. Many outfits had to close down but we were fortunate to run smoothly because of the way we are set up.
We learned plenty over the course of the year, and know that traveling to Alaska in 2021 will still have its hurdles, but with the lessons learned in 2020 and a vaccine on the horizon, we feel very optimistic that 2021 will be a good year!
For information on current travel restrictions to Alaska, visit – https://covid19.alaska.gov/travelers/
For those that ventured to Alaska from the Lower 48 in 2020, they know that a negative COVID test, taken 72 hours before traveling to Alaska, was necessary in order to enter the state. At first, family practitioners and testing facilities had an ample supply of tests, and it was fairly predictable to schedule a test, and perhaps a little less predictable if you would get the results back in time. Fairly quickly, the availability of tests rapidly decreased. We heard from other travelers that one good solution was to find a rapid testing facility like the ones offered by Walgreens. They allowed people who passed some basic requirements to schedule a test about a week in advance, and results were received within an hour or two. This made traveling to Alaska predictable. For those who tested, but didn’t get results back in time, self-quarantine was mandatory until results were received. In the unfortunate event of a positive test result, then travelers were forced to quarantine for 14 days at their expense.
Another option is the at-home test. The state of Alaska recommends these companies:
*Inquire with each to determine if they can meet your timing needs.
We’ve heard repeatedly about the basic precautions to follow: wear a mask, practice social distancing, maintain clean hands and sanitize regularly, avoid touching your face until you clean your hands, and keep your social circle small. These have become standard practices for most people. The airlines have adopted a similar mentality and are hyper-focused on the safety of passengers. Our lodge on the banks of the Kenai River provides individual vacation rentals for our guests. Ample space, kitchen, and living area all make it so your small group or family can stay safely.
All anglers traveling to Alaska will be required to fill out a Travel Declaration here: https://www.alaska.covidsecureapp.com. This is also where you upload your negative test results. We advise that you bring a paper copy of your declaration and negative test results just in case. We will keep our Big Dan’s Community aware of any changing or updated travel information.
We can’t wait to have you on one of our boats in 2021 and staying at our lodge, plying the waters of Kachemak Bay, Cook Inlet, and the Gulf of Alaska for bottomfish and salmon or fishing the Kenai and Kasilof. Not only is it all kinds of fun, but it’s good for the soul.