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Drastic drop in irregular migration to Europe during lockdown

During the coronavirus pandemic, Europe has witnessed a major decrease in the arrival of irregular migrants, especially via the central Mediterranean. In March 2020, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) detected 4,500 irregular crossings of European borders, which is around half of the figure for February.

This drop can be partly explained by the fact that Italy and Malta both closed their seaports on 7 and 9 April, respectively. Another important factor is the suspension of asylum procedures in several European countries.

Around 200 irregular migrants arrived in March 2020 via the central Mediterranean. Typically, migrants taking this route first pass through Niger, Libya, Algeria and even Morocco.

TMP – 29/04/2020

Photo credit: Riccardo Nastasi/ Shutterstock

Photo caption: Abandoned migrant boat.