AMHS offers new protection against COVID-19

The observation deck of the M/V Aurora. (Sept. 19, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith.
The observation deck of the M/V Aurora. (Sept. 19, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Several new protocols are now in place to protect travelers on state ferries from the novel coronavirus, Alaska Marine Highway System officials said.

All passengers over the age of two traveling on the Kennicott, Matanuska and Tustumena are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result document upon boarding for travel. The test must have been done within five days of travel.

The exception is passengers boarding at Bellingham, Washington, who must be tested within 72 hours of boarding.

AMHS officials said that shorter duration and travelers aboard the day vessels LeConte and Lituya do not require COVID-19 testing or a sworn statement of quarantine.

All passengers over age two and crew must wear face coverings while onboard all AMHS vessels, except when in a stateroom, designated smoking area or while eating. Accommodation will be made for those unable to wear a face covering due to medical conditions.

Passengers already in Alaska choosing to board mainliner ferries must prove negative to a COVID-19 test within five days of departure or provide a sworn statement affirming that the traveler has quarantined for at least 14 days prior to travel.

Passengers and crew will not be allowed to go ashore during port calls. Passengers will be allowed on shore only when they arrive at their destination.

The Alaska test site locater is at

Test sites available nationally can be found at