The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has affected global and regional human mobility in the form of various travel disruptions and restrictions. The total number of COVID-19 cases reached 7,846,404 in the South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia region (SEEECA) as of 30 December 2020 according to the World Health Organization (WHO). To better understand how the pandemic affects the mobility at the Points of Entry (PoEs), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has developed an online tool and database which tracks changes in mobility at PoEs (airports, land and blue border crossing points). This includes preparedness and response measures to prevent, protect against, control and assist in line with the International Health Regulations (IHR). Among the mobility changes tracked by IOM are: 1) Movement restrictions on entry and/or exit, 2) Changes in visa requirements, 3) Restrictions applied to certain nationalities to disembark at this location, 4) Changes in identification documents needed to disembark, 5) Medical measures in place such as Health Staffing/Medical Personnel, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Risk communication and community engagement (RCCE), Infection prevention and control (IPC) and Surveillance and Referral.
As of 23 December 2020, data was collected on 850 PoEs in 19 countries/territories/areas across the SEEECA region. These locations include: 535 land border crossings points, 196 airports, and 119 blue border crossing points (including sea, river and lake ports). This work is based on the information collected by or available to IOM Country Offices in the region. This PoE brief analysis provides an overview of the changes of the operational status and mobility restrictions over time, between April and December 2020. It is important to note that not all data on PoEs have been updated every month, meaning that the trend displayed does not necessarily represent the current situation of all PoEs. In April – May 602 PoEs were assessed, in June – July 625, in August 627, in September 642, in October 709, in November 849, and in December a total of 850 PoEs were assessed.