ASYLUM requests and illegal immigration in Spain have plummeted since the coronavirus state of alarm came into force.
Just 25 people asked for asylum in Spain during the first week of the decree, provisional figures from the European Asylum Support Office reveal. This compares with more than 3,800 the previous week and nearly 4,200 in the first week of March.
Most of the asylum-seekers were Venezuelans, Colombians and Central Americans who arrived by plane, now not possible under the health emergency measures.
New asylum request application processing has been suspended until the state of alarm ends and face-to-face interviews can be resumed, although the Interior Ministry has reported that the Asylum office continues operating online and “with limitations” to resolve cases presented before the health emergency.
The closure of borders, the suspension of flights and the restrictions on movement to stop the spread of Covid-19 have also led to a major drop in attempts to enter the country illegally by land or sea to the lowest numbers in recent years.
Between March 16 and 22 only 93 people managed to enter Spanish territory, Interior Ministry figures show, 70 by sea and 23 overland.
The previous week’s figure was more than 350.