Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson today has a new, more liberal emergency order to follow: Masks are still required in public, and some restaurant capacity has increased. Also, the previous midnight cutoff for alcohol service has been lifted.
The mayor long ago abandoned the goal of flattening the curve of infection form Covid-19. Now, there is no stated goal, but the new normal in Anchorage is a state of persistent emergency orders, changing mandates and rules, communication of fear about more dangerous variants of the coronavirus, and encouraging people to tighten their masks and stay away from others, as the country moves into the second year of the pandemic.
The rules for now are:
Gatherings are limited to 25 indoors with food, or 35 indoors without food; 60 outdoors with food and 100 outdoors without food.
Restaurants may open with physical distancing and masking of customers until they are seated and eating.
Entertainment venues may open with physical distancing and masking.
Gyms may open with physical distancing and masking.
Organized sports may have spectators allowed outdoors, and limited spectators allowed indoors. Indoor competitions within the municipality are allowed, but competition with teams outside of the municipality are allowed with pre-competition testing for Covid-19.
Retail stores are open with physical distancing and masking.
Personal care are open with physical distancing and masking.
Remote work is required whenever possible.
The municipality is taking a look at mandatory testing for incoming travelers, if the State does not continue testing at the Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport, the mayor said.
The new rules come with penalties. For those businesses and clubs that do not obey the Municipality, there are fines and mandatory suspensions of licenses, and closures of businesses, non-profits, and other entities for up to two weeks.
One year ago this week, Anchorage was in the middle of a buying spree for hand sanitizer, bleach and other disinfectants, as well as toilet paper and paper towels.