AMHS cuts capacity on ferries due to COVID-19

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Alaska Marine Highway System has reduced passenger capacity to one-third to make social distancing possible.

    Pat Wickens, a resident of Hoonah, complained that a group of Hoonah residents was left stranded at the Auke Bay ferry terminal on Saturday.  They had come over to do shopping on the M/V Tazlina on Friday.

    The new policy went into effect on May 29.

    Spokesman Sam Dapcevich released a statement that said the AMHS is responding to the changing dynamics of a global health pandemic as quickly and responsibly as is possible with decisions intended to protect the safety of its customers and its staff.

    They recommend that passengers call ahead or make their reservations on the AMHS website.

    They will keep the new policy in place until they receive further guidance from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

    The other protocols in place include reminders to passengers and employees to practice good hygiene and follow social distancing guidelines.  Wearing a face covering is strongly recommended.

    Passengers also will complete a health screening form before they board.  People who are sick or have recent contact with an infected person will not be permitted to travel.

    The M/V Tustemena resumed service on Tuesday.  The M/V Kennicott and LeConte will be back in service later this month.

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