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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 1, 2021
Press Release: 21-0002
Contact: Sam Dapcevich, sam.dapcevich@alaska.gov, (907) 465-4503

Alaska Marine Highway System Updates Travel Protocols
New Federal Mask Mandate applies to ferries and terminal facilities

(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act requiring persons to wear proper face coverings when using public transportation systems to help reduce the introduction, transmission and spread of COVID-19.

The Federal mask mandate requires the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) to use best efforts to ensure that passengers and persons wear a mask for the duration of their presence on an AMHS vessel and while in a terminal building or on terminal premises.

Beginning February 1, 2021, at 11:59 PM, the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) will comply with the federal mandate, requiring persons two years and older to wear proper face coverings while using facilities and traveling on vessels. To the extent possible, AMHS will make reasonable accommodation for a passenger who is unable to wear a face-covering due to a disability.

AMHS currently requires passengers and employees to wear masks, but the CDC order makes refusal to wear a face-covering a violation of federal law. Current information about AMHS travel protocols is located at http://dot.alaska.gov/amhs/covid19.shtml. The CDC order is located at https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/Mask-Order-CDC_GMTF_01-29-21-p.pdf.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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