In April, the number of detections of illegal border crossings on Europe’s main migratory routes fell by 85% from the previous month to around 900*,the lowest total since Frontex began collecting border data in 2009. The record low numbers were mainly due to the effects of coronavirus, which have also delayed the reporting of border crossing data by national authorities.
The total number of illegal border crossings for the first four months of 2020 reached 26 650, roughly in line with the same period of last year.
The Eastern Mediterranean migratory route saw the biggest drop in the number detections of illegal border crossings into Europe. Last month, there were around 40 detections, or 99% fewer than in March.
In the January-April period, more than 11 200 illegal border crossings were detected on this route, or 18% fewer than a year ago.
Afghans were the top nationality detected on this route.
The number of irregular migrants crossing the Central Mediterranean in April fell by 29% from the previous month to around 250. The total for the first four months reached close to 4 100, a three-fold increase compared to the same period of 2019.
The top three nationalities detected on this route were Ivoirians, Bangladeshis and Moroccans.
Western Mediterranean Sea
The number of migrants arriving in Europe via the Western Mediterranean Sea route in April fell by 82% from March to nearly 100. In the first four months, the total stood at slightly above 3 000, or less than half the year-ago figure.
Moroccans and Algerians accounted for the largest number of migrants detected on this route in April.
There were fewer than 100 detections of illegal border crossings recorded on this route in April, down 94% from the previous month. However, in the first four months, the number of illegal border crossings increased by 60% from the same period of last year to nearly 6 000.
*The figure includes other less active migratory routes not mentioned in this press release. The final figures may differ significantly due to delayed reporting.
**April 2020 data does not include the number of detections in Cyprus.