30 per cent fewer asylum applications were received in the European Union in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This was the submission of the European Authority.
In 2020, around 461,300 cases were submitted, compared to around 671,200 in 2019, lower than at any time since 2013, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) announced on Thursday in the Maltese capital, Valletta.
The agency attributed the decline to the coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
An estimated 4 per cent of the applications came from unaccompanied minors.
The biggest drop in applications was from people from Nigeria, down by 44 per cent.
The pandemic also reduced the backlog of cases somewhat, the EASO wrote further.
On average, about every third asylum application was accepted.
Most of them came from Syria (84 per cent), Eritrea (80 per cent) and Yemen (75 per cent).