I, Mike Dunleavy, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of Article III, Sections 1 and 24, Constitution of the State of Alaska, find and direct the following:
The United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II, issued a public health emergency related to COVID-19 on January 31, 2020. Over the following ten months, there were significant public health risks that increased exponentially throughout Alaska from March 2020 through January 2021.
These health risks have been continually monitored, and progressively addressed, by the State of Alaska, in conjunction with our federal and tribal partners. Specifically, the State of Alaska has led the nation in vaccine distribution for those individuals over the age of 16 that want to be vaccinated.
As of April 22, 2021, a total of 537,799 doses have been administered; 300,955 individuals have received at least one dose; 244,900 are fully vaccinated, and 48.7 percent of individuals 16 and over have received at least one dose. Vaccination coverage is highest among Alaska residents age 65 and older at roughly 73.8 percent receiving at least one dose, and 69.3 percent being fully vaccinated. In addition, beginning June 1, 2021, vaccines will be provided for anyone traveling to Alaska who chooses to be vaccinated.
While a strong response to the health risks of COVID-19 has occurred, the effects of COVID-19 have been socially and economically devastating to the entire state. Economic impacts have been compounded by current tourism decisions relating to the cruise industry by the federal government of the United States and in Canada that will have a devastating impact on our 2021 tourism season.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorizations for three varieties of COVID-19 vaccines, and the federal statute 21 U.S.C. section 360bbb-3(e)(1)(A)(ii)(III) expressly recognizes that each individual has “the option to accept or refuse administration of the product”.
Vaccinations have been touted as a significant tool that can help move the State forward in bringing our communities out of the pandemic and into public and economic recovery, yet the Administration recognizes, and fully supports, the constitutional right to travel and the freedom for individuals to make personal health choices.
The State of Alaska continues to encourage precautionary behaviors to avoid transmission of COVID-19 and is actively providing opportunities for our citizens and visitors to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, should they so choose.
This Order clarifies for all Executive Branch departments, agencies, officials, state entities, and the public that the Executive Branch does not, and will not, require any person to produce their personal vaccine history, also referred to as a “Vaccine Passport”, in order to travel to, or around, Alaska. (The Alaska Marine Highway ferry system is allowed to inform passengers on long haul trips of the voluntary choice the passenger can make to provide proof of vaccination and avoid the need for a negative test before boarding).
The State will protect the fundamental right of citizens to travel freely between states, and protect the rights of Alaskans who wish to travel within their state.
Nothing in this Order is intended to supersede statutory requirements unrelated to traversing the state, authorities granted to local governments, or infringe on the rights of private businesses.
This Order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Juneau, Alaska on this 26th day of April 2021.