The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has revised its health mandate for those traveling into Alaska.

As of Friday morning, travelers are required to socially distance for five days. That’s a reduction from the 14-day self quarantine period required in the previous version of the mandate. It also applies to both residents and nonresidents.

“The changes keep protective protocols in place, but are aimed at making the rules similar and easier to understand,” department officials said in a social media update.

Alaska residents remain eligible for a free COVID-19 test when they return to Alaska, as they have been in the past. Nonresidents are asked to have had a COVID-19 test done within 72 hours of their arrival to the 49th state, and can also have a test upon arrival in the state for $250.

The state has the same expectations for the five days of socially distancing, asking travelers to not enter public indoor places such as bars, restaurants, community centers, sporting facilities, office buildings and schools.

The updated mandate goes into effect on a day in which DHSS reported an additional 218 COVID-19 cases in Alaska. It’s been more than three weeks since the state reported less than 100 new cases in a day. An additional COVID-19 related death was also reported. That total is now at 66. A total of 51 who have tested positive for COVID-19 are hospitalized, with another eight hospitalized who are suspected to be coronavirus cases.

An additional 17 new cases were reported in the Mat-Su Borough Friday, pushing the total to 796. There are 284 activity cases in the borough.

Contact the Frontiersman at news@frontiersman.com.

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