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Masks and COVID tests, traveling this holiday season will look different

Travelers wait in the Fairbanks International Airport for a flight to Seattle. While some...
Travelers wait in the Fairbanks International Airport for a flight to Seattle. While some things are the same, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we travel for the holidays in 2020.(John Dougherty/KTVF)
Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 5:14 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Traveling in 2020 has changed completely. While some things look the same - the lines and waiting haven’t gone anywhere - others look much different.

“You know with the whole COVID situation, traveling has been much more kind of stressful and a little more time consuming. You definitely have to think more about being prepared,” said Trent who is traveling to Alabama.

Melissa Stepovich is the communications and marketing manager for the Fairbanks International Airport and said that there is more for travelers to pay attention to.

“The arrival is the most important part of travel. When coming back to FAI it is important that people people are aware of the COVID mandates that are put in place by the State of Alaska,” Stepovich said.

She said that non-residents need to receive a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to arrival in Fairbanks, and residents need to get one upon arrival or quarantine for 14 days. She also said to check health mandates for wherever people are traveling to from Fairbanks.

While many things look different Lorraine Genz, a traveler to Seattle, had some advice: “It’s not as bad as it seemed, wear your mask.”

Stepovich echoed her call to wear a mask saying most airlines won’t even let people board without having one on.

She also encouraged travelers to check with the TSA no matter what year they fly for helpful advice.

“It is always safe to check with TSA prior to departure when traveling during the holidays. I would hate to have folks wrap those beautiful gifts and then have them unwrapped. So please check with TSA, they have an easy website that you can just go through and they tell you the dos and don’ts of holiday travel,” Stepovich said.

While things may look different, traveling during the holidays is still possible as long as passengers do their research and give themselves extra time.

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