In the first quarter of 2020, a total of 18,641 migrants and refugees were registered arriving to Europe through the three Mediterranean routes, which is 4 per cent more than the 17,889 arrivals registered in the same period in 2019 and 5 per cent less than the 19,627 registered in 2018. Arrivals in the first quarter of 2020 decreased by 56 per cent when compared to the previous reporting period (42,713 in Q4 2019). The decrease in arrivals might be related to the deterioration of weather conditions in winter months, as well as to an overall decrease in departures and arrivals due to the COVID-19 emergency since late February-beginning of March.
Almost half (50%) of all registered individuals arrived in Europe through the Eastern Mediterranean route by reaching Greece (9,056) and Bulgaria (183). Another 29 per cent were registered in Spain (5,473) and the remaining 21 per cent crossed the Central Mediterranean and disembarked in Italy (2,794) and Malta (1,135).