Operations Under COVID-19

Ever since the Municipality of Anchorage and State of Alaska issued orders closing non-essential businesses to curb the spread of COVID-19, we have been closed to the public for our operations. I am pleased to announce that those orders have been relaxed, and we can operate with restrictions as outlined in our COVID-19 Mitigation Plan below.

Alaska Photo Treks falls under both State of Alaska and Municipality of Anchorage COVID-19 requirements.  This COVID-19 Mitigation Plan outlines the measures that Alaska Photo Treks has implemented to meet both state and local requirements to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The State of Alaska is implementing the Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan which has a total of five phases.  Health Mandate 016, which initiated the first phase in opening up certain sectors of the Alaska economy for operations open to the public, was implemented on April 24, 2020.  Alaska Photo Treks falls under Attachment D – Non-Essential Public-Facing Businesses Generally (Non-Retail) and Attachment M – Intrastate Travel & Outdoor Day Activity.  Phase 2, which allows for increased commercial activity, commences on Friday, May 8.

Additionally, the Municipality of Anchorage has outlined four phases to its reopening plan. It has issued Safe Anchorage:  A Roadmap to Reopening the Municipality of Anchorage ( which includes Emergency Orders EO-07 and EO-08).  Emergency Order EO-07 allows “Non-Critical, Public Facing” businesses to open with limitations.  Attachment C to that order addresses how Non-Critical, Public-Facing businesses may operate. Attachment C requires the development of a COVID-19 mitigation plan in order to operate. The Municipality has informed us that this category applies to our operations.

As there are some differences between the State and Municipal plans, and Municipal decrees are more strict, we will outline our plans based on the Municipality’s four-phase plan. This COVID-19 Mitigation Plan articulates how Alaska Photo Treks will implement the health mandates of both local and state government.

We are currently operating under PHASE THREE mentioned below.

Through the Lens Alaska, LLC dba Alaska Photo Treks
COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

The Alaska Photo Treks COVID-19 Mitigation Plan consists of two elements:
Policy on Procedures to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 in Four Phases (below), and General Management of Employees (right).

Alaska Photo Treks Policy on Practices to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 in Four Phases

Phase One of COVID-19 Mitigation Plan
(Estimated duration: 28 days)

How We Will Operate

  1. Services will only be offered to local residents.
  2. Tours will not be conducted using the Alaska Photo Treks van. Guests will transport themselves to tour locations in their own vehicle in order to minimize the Alaska Photo Treks guide and customers being within six feet of each other.
  3. No drinks or snacks will be provided. Guests will be required to bring their own.
  4. We will only provide the following tours:
    a. Custom tours or classes to individuals
    b. Day or custom tours to groups of individuals from the same household

Our Precautions

  1. Guide will ensure that his/her hands are thoroughly washed prior to tour.
  2. Guides will be screened for symptoms prior to proceeding on tour. No guide experiencing any symptoms of any kind will be authorized to guide a tour. No guests who are symptomatic will be allowed to participate in the tour; no refund will be provided under these circumstances.
  3. Guide will wear cloth mask and disposable gloves during the tour.
  4. Guide will maintain social distancing during the tour, meaning, keeping a minimum of six feet away from guests. This means that the guide will not be able to provide instruction to guests on how to operate their camera. We recommend that guests make sure that they understand the basic camera functions.
  5. All guests will be required to bring their own cloth mask and wear it at each location during the tour. Failure to appear to the tour location with a mask to wear will result in a forfeit of the tour with no refund.


Phase Two of COVID-19 Mitigation Plan
(Estimated duration: 42 days)

How We Will Operate

  1. Services will only be offered consistent with existing travel guidelines.
  2. Tours will be conducted using the van. Guests will have to sit with a distance of six feet from the nearest guest that is not part of their household and guide, limiting the number of people per tour. Cloth masks will be required inside the van. Refusal to wear a mask inside the van will result in ejection from the tour without a refund.
  3. No drinks or snacks will be provided. Guests will be required to bring their own.

Our Precautions

  1. Guide will ensure that his/her hands are thoroughly washed prior to tour.
  2. Guides will be screened for symptoms prior to proceeding on tour. No guide experiencing any symptoms of any kind will be authorized to guide a tour. No guests who are symptomatic will be allowed to participate in the tour; no refund will be provided under these circumstances.
  3. Guide will wear cloth mask during tour.
  4. Guide will maintain social distancing during the tour; meaning, keeping a minimum of six feet away from guests during tour. This means that the guide will not be able to provide instruction to guests on how to operate their camera. We recommend that guests make sure that they understand the basic camera functions.
  5. All guests will be required to bring their own cloth mask and wear it when within six foot proximity to the guide or guest who are not part of their household during the tour. Failure to appear for the tour with a mask to wear will result in a forfeit of the tour with no refund.
  6. The surfaces of the van that come in contact with guests and guides will be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines.


Phase Three of COVID-19 Mitigation Plan
(Estimated duration: undetermined)

How We Will Operate

  1. All services will be offered.
  2. Tours will be conducted using the van. Guests will be allowed to seat in accordance with normal operations. Everyone is required to wear cloth masks inside the van. Refusal to wear a mask inside the van will result in ejection from the tour without a refund. Masks will not be required when outdoors and social distancing is possible.
  3. Drink and snack service during the tour will resume.

Our Precautions

  1. Guide will ensure that his/her hands are thoroughly washed prior to tour.
  2. Guides will be screened for symptoms prior to proceeding on tour. No guide experiencing any symptoms of any kind will be authorized to guide a tour. Any guest exhibiting symptoms will not be allowed to participate; no refunds will be provided in those circumstances.
  3. Guide will wear disposable gloves when preparing drinks and snacks.
  4. Guide will maintain social distancing during the tour; meaning, keeping a minimum of six feet away from guests except for when needed to help a guest understand camera operations. Guests are still encouraged to understand the basic camera functions.
  5. The surfaces of the van that come in contact with guests and guides will be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines.


Phase Four of COVID-19 Mitigation Plan
(Resumption of “New Normal” Operations)

How We Will Operate

  1. All services will be offered.
  2. Tours will be conducted using the van. Guests will be allowed to seat in accordance with normal operations.
  3. Drink and snack service during the tour.

Our Precautions

  1. Guide will ensure that his/her hands are thoroughly washed prior to tour.
  2. No guide experiencing any symptoms of any kind will be authorized to guide a tour.
  3. Guide will wear disposable gloves when preparing drinks and snacks.
  4. The surfaces of the van that come in contact with guests and guides will be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines.
man on van taking pictures

Alaska Photo Treks General Management of Employees

General Employee Management

  1. All Alaska Photo Treks employees shall comply with this policy and implementation plan.
  2. Employees are required to work from home unless there is a compelling reason to work from the office, attend a meeting, or otherwise work elsewhere.
  3. Gatherings of more than 10 people shall not take place. If gatherings of 10 or less take place, attendees must practice good COVID-19 hygiene such as remaining at least six feet apart, washing hands frequently, covering coughs or sneezes, not shaking hands, wearing cloth masks, and other good practices.
  4. There are no Alaska Photo Treks employees who reside outside of Alaska, so travel-related health mandates are inapplicable as to employees reporting for duty. However, if employees do travel outside of Alaska for personal reasons, they shall self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days once they return to the state. All employees in quarantine shall reasonably remain in isolation quarters except for seeking medical attention.  Should an employee encounter others, they shall follow social distancing and other good COVID-19 hygiene practices.
  5. Employees in mandatory self-quarantine shall maintain a daily tracking log of COVID-19 symptoms using the attached form. Employees should provide their own thermometers or, if no thermometer is available, indicate fever yes or no.  These employees shall not report to work unless either they do not exhibit symptoms for 14 days or else they receive proper medical clearance.
  6. All Alaska Photo Treks employees in the State of Alaska are encouraged to keep a daily log of COVID-19 symptoms as a best practice to track fitness for duty in case a tour booking is assigned to them. Evidence that an employee is symptom-free for 14 days will be a factor in determining whether that employee will be assigned to a tour, class or workshop.
  7. Employees shall comply with all posted COVID-19 mandates, if applicable, with regard to tour locations.

High Risk Employee Management

  1. All Alaska Photo Treks employees will read and become familiar with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention risk factors that could potentially lead to more severe outcomes associated with COVID-19.
  2. For employees traveling to remote field workshops, the Alaska Photo Treks operations manager will have a confidential conversation with the staff member to determine if the employee is in one of the described higher risk categories.
  3. If the employee is in one of the higher risk categories, the Alaska Photo Treks operations manager will ask the employee if they are comfortable reporting to duty at a remote location and performing job responsibilities. This information will be recorded and kept confidential.
  4. If the employee is comfortable reporting to the field assignment and completing associated job responsibilities, he/she will do the following to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms:
  • Twice daily temperature monitoring (to be recorded on the COVID-19 Symptoms Tracking Log);
  • Daily communication with Alaska Photo Treks operations manager; and
  • Immediate reporting to medical personnel of any COVID-19 related symptoms (including but not limited to fever, cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, or loss of taste or smell).5. Higher risk employees not comfortable reporting to field assignments or completing associated job responsibilities will not be required to do so. Alaska Photo Treks will find an alternative staff to facilitate these workshops.