18 Aug 2020

American Samoa soldier denied entry despite meeting health requirements

6:22 am on 18 August 2020

An official says the US Army soldier who was refused entry into American Samoan met all the health requirements as set out by the territory.

Sergeant Sanele Lemana was not allowed to step off the federal flight that brought him home last week for his mother's funeral.

The FEMA flight in Pago Pago

Sgt Sanele Lemana was not allowed off this flight Photo: supplied

The order came from Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga.

There has been no explanation from the Governor's Office or the Attorney-General as to the reason for the denial but the Director of Health, Motusa Tuileama Nua, said the soldier met all health requirements, including a negative Covid-19 test.

Lemana would not have been allowed on the flight if he had not met the requirements, Motusa said.

Lemana had travelled to American Samoa from Alaska, catching a Federal Emergency Management Agency charter on the last leg thanks to the assistance of Congresswoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen.

Lolo was reportedly unhappy that Aumua had not informed him about Lemana.

Incumbent Congresswoman Aumua Amata is seeking a second term.

Incumbent Congresswoman Aumua Amata is seeking a second term. Photo: Supplied/United States Congress