The Alaska Marine Highway System is clarifying that shorter trips on state ferries do not require a COVID-19 test for passengers.
The state ferry system Sunday had announced that passengers over the age of two on mainline ferries Kennicott, Matanuska and Tustamena needed proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72-hours before boarding. On Wednesday the system said that does not apply to shorter duration and day boat ferry rides within state.
A negative test result within 72 hours of departure is required for passengers departing from Bellingham, Washington on those mainliners headed to Alaska.
A statement from the marine highway says other passengers on longer trips within the state have two options, either a signed statement that a person has quarantined for two weeks or a negative test result within five days of the departure date. Those are trips starting in Alaska and ending in Bellingham, cross Gulf sailings and trips along the Aleutian chain that include a stop in Kodiak.
Face coverings are required in most parts of a ferry. That doesn’t apply to people under the age of two and the system says it will accommodate passengers unable to wear a face covering. Passengers also can’t go ashore during port calls until their final destination.
The ferry system says if a case is found onboard it may mean a two-week quarantine for all onboard.
Mainline ferry service resumes this week. The first ship due to stop in Petersburg is the Matanuska just before midnight on July 5th.