Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a Friday, May 1, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a Friday, May 1, 2020 press conference in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)

Intrastate travel OK’d for road system, marine highway

Travel is still prohibited to and from communities off the road system.

Alaskans can now travel between communities on the road system and via the Alaska Marine Highway System, according to a new mandate issued Tuesday by Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office.

Travel is still prohibited to and from communities off the road system, the new mandate said, unless the travel is supporting “critical infrastructure or critical personal needs.”

“In reviewing all health mandates, monitoring the evolving COVID-19 case data, and acknowledging the need for clarity, I am easing the restrictions on intrastate travel on the road system and communities serviced by AMHS by issuing COVID-19 Health Mandate 18,” Dunleavy said in a Tuesday release. “The hard work of all Alaskans over the past several months has significantly stalled the spread of this disease, allowing us to methodically reopen pieces of our economy.”

Traveling to off-road communities is allowed for a critical personal needs, such as buying, selling or delivering groceries, obtaining fuel for vehicles or residential needs, transporting family for out-of-home care, essential health needs, child custody exchanges, “obtaining other important goods” and engaging in subsistence activities.

Air carriers, ferries and other transportation services have “no duty” to verify travelers meet criteria for travel, the mandate said. People traveling are still subject to social distancing mandates.

The mandate said travelers should minimize stops along the way. If stopping for food, gas or supplies “only one traveler shall engage with the third-party vendor.”

The mandate also says cloth face coverings should be used whenever travelers stop for food, gas or supplies. When stopping, travelers “shall wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before exiting and immediately returning to the car or vehicle,” the mandate said.

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