A total of 3,123 migrants and refugees arrived in Europe through different land and sea routes in May 2020, which is 88 per cent more than the 1,658 registered in the previous month (April 2020), 2 times less than the 7,360 sea and land arrivals registered in May last year, and 4 times less than the 13,043 arrivals registered in May 2018, and almost 9 times less than the 26,585 reported in May 2017. Arrivals registered in Europe in the first five months of 2020 were 23,422, which is 24 per cent less than arrivals registered in the same period last year (30,924) and 31 per cent less than arrivals between January and May of 2018 (44,924).
There were 1,726 registered on the Central Mediterranean route (55%), arriving by sea to Italy and Malta, in May 2020. Another 1,105 arrivals registered on the Western Mediterranean route (35%) leading to Spain in the same period and 292 were registered in Bulgaria and Greece through the Eastern Mediterranean route (only 9% of total registered arrivals in Europe). Hence, this is the second time since February 2019 that Eastern Mediterranean route is surpassed by both the Western and Central Mediterranean routes as the main route taken by migrants and refugees travelling to Europe by sea and land. In the same reporting period of the last year (May 2019), the Eastern Mediterranean route was recorded as the most active route with 4,230 arrivals (58% of the total), followed by the Western Mediterranean route with 1,972 registered arrivals (27%) and the Central Mediterranean route with 1,158 registered arrivals (16%). In May 2018, 40 per cent of all arrivals in Europe were registered on the Eastern Mediterranean route (5,143), while arrivals on the on Central Mediterranean were 3,963 (30%) and on Western Mediterranean route 3,937 (30%).