12 Aug 2020

US airman refused entry to American Samoa after travelling for funeral

1:07 pm on 12 August 2020

A member of the US Air Force has been refused entry into American Samoa to attend his mother's funeral.

The FEMA flight in Pago Pago

The FEMA flight in Pago Pago Photo: supplied

The Federal Emergency Management Agency flight arrived yesterday to pick up personnel who were assigned to the territory and brought the airman who had travelled from Alaska.

However the man was refused entry and not allowed to disembark from the plane.

Local media were unable to reach the Attorney General for information on why the airman was barred.

The office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata was involved in efforts to get the airman home for the funeral.

The airman's fiancé said other family members in Seattle could not travel to the territory.

According to the fiancé, the mother died in June and the family was awaiting the airman's arrival to schedule the funeral.

The return flight to Honolulu took six passengers when it departed; two FEMA staff, the airman, and another US serviceman and his family.

There have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in American Samoa but quarantine provisions have been in place for people entering the US territory.