Alaska to offer tourists COVID-19 vaccines starting June 1

Alaska Airlines employees load cargo Sept. 27, 2017, into the middle of a passenger plane at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska. The Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection began Jan. 22, 2018, requiring more information about cargo flying aboard six passenger airlines from five countries in the Middle East.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said Friday that COVID-19 vaccines would be made available at key airports in the state starting June 1, in unveiling plans aimed at bolstering the state’s pandemic-battered tourist industry.

Dunleavy, a Republican, outlined plans for a national marketing campaign aimed at luring tourists using federal aid money and said the vaccine offering is “probably another good reason to come to the state of Alaska in the summer.”

Dunleavy and other state leaders have been pushing to allow large cruise ships to return to Alaska after COVID-19 restrictions kept them away last year, hitting hard businesses and communities, particularly in southeast Alaska, that rely heavily on summer tourism.

He said the state has not ruled out suing the federal government, as Florida has, over the issue.

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