Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the number of people crossing the “contact line” has been critically curtailed. From mid-March until early June, all crossing points were closed in an attempt to contain the virus. Although the number of individual crossings gradually increased after the partial reopening of two of the five crossing points in June, only 3 million individual crossings were recorded in 2020, accounting for 22 per cent of the total crossings in 2019 (around 14 million), the vast majority of which were between January and mid-March. As the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to persist through much of 2021, the “contact line” will likely remain substantially closed at least until summer 2021. The opening of the two new entry/exit crossing points (EECPs) in Luhanska oblast – “Shchastia” and “Zolote” – has been indefinitely delayed due to disagreements over the mode of operation.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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