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 10,457,258 in the South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia region (SEEECA) as of 31 January 2021 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 27 January 2021, data was collected on 851 PoEs in 19 countries/territories/areas across the SEEECA region. These locations include: 535 land border crossings points, 197 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 PoEs brief analysis provides an overview of the changes of the operational status and mobility restrictions between April 2020, when the global data collection exercise on PoEs’ status was rolled out by IOM, and January 2021. 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. A total of 851 PoEs have been assessed in January 2021, which is 249 more than the 602 PoEs assessed in April 2020 at the beginning of the exercise