In the fourth quarter of 2020, a total of 37,454 migrants and refugees were registered arriving to Europe through the three Mediterranean routes, which is 12 per cent less than the 42,713 arrivals registered in the same period in 2019, and 10 per cent less than the 41,819 registered in 2018. Arrivals in the fourth quarter of 2020 increased by 19 per cent compared to the previous reporting period (31,563 in Q3 2020). This significant increase registered in arrivals somewhat coincides with the ease of travel and mobility restrictions previously imposed by authorities to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus since late February-beginning of March 2020.
Around (61%) of all registered individuals in Q4 of 2020 arrived in Europe through the Western Mediterranean and Western African Atlantic route by reaching Spain (22,816). Another 28 per cent were registered in Italy (10,428), and Malta (119) and the remaining 8 per cent crossed the Eastern Mediterranean and disembarked in Greece (2,457) and Bulgaria (1,634).1