From December 14 all visitors arriving in Aspen will need to provide an online Traveler Affidavit confirming a negative Covid-19 test. The specimen for the test must have been taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival. If there is a delay with the test results, visitors will have to self-quarantine until one can be provided.
Both Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT) and rapid tests will be accepted but the former is preferred.
Visitors need to also be symptom-free for at least 10 days before arriving and will need to quarantine for 10 days if they cannot provide a negative test result. There is also the option of obtaining a test after arrival to Pitkin County. In this case, travellers will still need to self-isolate while waiting for their results.
The rules apply to everyone travelling to Pitkin County and staying the night. Day-trippers will not need to provide a test. Children under 10 are not required to show a negative test either but will need to be included in the travel affidavit of their parents. The rules also apply to residents that are returning or will be travelling outside the area.
Some people are exempt from providing the travel affidavit. This includes persons commuting to work or school; workers providing critical infrastructure services; persons with disabilities; patients seeking or receiving medical treatment and military personnel.
The new regulations come in as the winter surge of Covid-19 cases continues. Cases have also spiked in Pitkin County and authorities worked closely with local businesses, hotel owners and restauranteurs to ensure a fair compliance mechanism that will keep the community safe while allowing travellers to enjoy the beauty of the mountains over the winter season. Similar measures have been enforced in the states of Maine and Massuchessets.
As Tracy Truelove, a county spokesperson told Coloradoan, “It wasn’t designed to be punitive, but simply a statement of what were doing in our community not only to keep our community safe, but also keep the people visiting us safe.”
Failure to comply with the “Traveler Affidavit” can result in fines of up to $5,000 (€4,112). While it is not clear how the new regulations will be enforced, spot checks might be employed. Visitors and residents can also fill out a “complaint form” prepared by the Pitkin County authorities for any observed violations that are a threat to the public and health of the community. These violations include individuals and businesses that are disregarding cleaning and disinfecting protocols, but also includes symptomatic workers and improper mask use.
After having to close early last year due to the pandemic, the mountains of Aspen are hoping to attract visitors once again and are working hard to ensure a safe destination option for travellers.
Face masks are still mandatory in all indoor spaces and in places where there is outdoor crowding like gondolas and chairlifts.