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City Officials Remove Passenger Limits In Taxis, Clarify Traveler Quarantine For Vaccinated People

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska city officials have eased some of the island's health mandates designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, based on updated CDC and state guidance. 

City councilors voted unanimously on Tuesday evening to remove the three-month window exempting fully vaccinated people from the local traveler quarantine. That means fully vaccinated people will no longer need to self-quarantine following travel to Unalaska.

The new mandate also removes a three-person passenger limit for local taxis, van services and shuttles. 

City Manager Erin Reinders said the move is warranted since officials eliminated the size restrictions on indoor public gatherings earlier this month. But masks will still be required to be worn in the vehicles, just as they're still required indoors and in other public spaces where social distancing isn't practical, she added. 

Tuesday's resolution continues all previously-approved measures to protect public health — like wearing face coverings, posting protective plans on doors to businesses and a seven to 10-day traveler quarantine and test strategy for those who haven't been fully vaccinated or haven't had COVID-19 within the past three months. 

Councilor Thom Bell said he was in support of the resolution, which expires April 14, and that the city should consider revising local mandates moving forward. 

"I think it would be in order, once we get to a point where we've vaccinated everyone or have given the opportunity for everyone who wants a vaccine in this town, to take another look at some of these restrictions and what's going to be prudent to do away with or not," Bell said. 

Meanwhile, due to time restrictions, councilors voted to postpone two items on Tuesday's agenda.  At a special meeting next week, the council is expected to decide whether or not to impose an excise tax on tobacco products in Unalaska, as well as whether or not to grant Ounalashka/Chena Power an extension to obtain financing for the Makushin Geothermal Project.

Hope McKenney reported for KUCB from 2019 until 2022. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2021.
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