ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska will not require visitors to have a vaccine passport if they want to travel in the state.
Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in a statement on Monday that no person will be mandated to prove their vaccine history in order to travel to or around the state. The order will go into effect immediately.
The statement did provide a caveat that the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system is allowed to inform passengers on long haul trips that they can provide proof of vaccination instead of having to test negative before they board.
Dunleavy said in the statement that he is against “any government order requiring Alaskans to get this vaccine, or using an individual’s vaccine status as a means of restricting their rights.”
Beginning on June 1, coronavirus vaccines will be made available at key airports in the state, the governor announced earlier this month. The plan is aimed at bolstering the state’s tourism industry.
A test clinic for the airport vaccination program will operate through Wednesday at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The plan is for vaccines to be distributed at airports in Fairbanks and Juneau as well.
In March, Alaska had been the first state in the U.S. to lift restrictions on who could receive a coronavirus vaccine.
As of Monday, about 49% of those 16 or older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the state, according to a database operated by the state Department of Health and Social Services. About 74% of those 65 or older have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Monday.
Roughly 42.4% of those 16 or older were fully vaccinated as of Monday.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, breathing trouble, sore throat, muscle pain and loss of taste or smell. Most people develop only mild symptoms.
But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia. Sometimes people with a coronavirus infection display no symptoms.