Alaska Enters Phase 2 of the “Open Alaska Responsibly Plan”
The “Open Alaska Responsibly Plan” enters Phase 2!
Yesterday the Governor of Alaska announced that we would be entering phase 2 of the “Open Alaska Responsibly Plan.” While all of this is unknown territory and these things change day to day, it is uplifting to see the state take tiny steps towards (dare we say it?) normalcy.
As it happens, Alaska has had some of the most aggressive measures to limit exposure in place, and due to all that effort we made as a community the state health officials have deemed it reasonable to proceed carefully forward. These rules can be rolled back at any time as needed by the state, but as long as we continue to generate good numbers, they will continue to roll out the next phases.
The rules for charter boats have been updated as follows:
- Facial coverings are now strongly encouraged in phase 2, changed from mandated in phase 1. At this time Miller’s Landing is still going to require guests to bring facial coverings on activities (fishing scarf, neck gaiter, whatever you like) but it’s nice to know that if you’re rocking up a big halibut or taking a whale selfie you can cheat! Those masks aren’t so bad, but they do get hot! We will likely allow our guests to drop their masks when they aren’t inside the cabin for the immediate future, and as mandates are lifted, our onboard rules will change to suit.
- The vessel capacity rules have changed: If our patrons are all from the same household, we can carry the full compliment/capacity of our boats on these trips. If they are non household members, we can carry 50% of the capacity of the vessel.
An example using our boats:
- The Fox Willie is inspected for 20 people, we can fish 10 non household members.
- The Michael A is inspected for 25 people, we can take 12 1/2 non household members (it’s going to be awkward transporting the other half of that person, but we’ll do it).
- The Thomasea can carry 6 people, we can fish 3 non household members, or 4, 5, and 6 if they’re in the same household.
This is for the immediate future, but re-evaluations are coming as soon as 5/18 for inter community travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine rules. Groups of 50 are now permitted for social gatherings with some caveats, and we have been open for camping and some limited guided hiking and kayaking.
Face masks are strongly recommended or required still throughout, and our own mitigation plan is listed here for our retail store (which is still closed to the public). We have been practicing social distancing, utilizing all credit payments, leading people through a remote self check in process, and more. While our campground is open, all of the sites are as mandated separated 25′, so essentially we are operating at 50% capacity already.
This last few months has been truly challenging for all of us, and it feels somehow like the sacrifices have paid off as we inch forward through these phases and rules. One thing at a time!
Thanks to all of you who have supported us as we’ve been able to operate on even a limited basis, and continue to be safe while doing so and work with these new rules and mandates as best we can. We really appreciate you all more than you know.
The Miller’s Landing Team