The new year saw the first landings of migrants on Italian territory in 2022. The 81 migrants were registered between January 1 and 2 along the coasts of the islands of Lampedusa and Sardinia.
The first of these landings took place on January 1 off the island of Lampedusa when a finance police patrol boat stopped a boat carrying 26 migrants, who were taken to the island's hotspot.
Commenting on the first landing of the year, Lampedusa Mayor Totò Martello said migration "is an issue that must be taken seriously". An Italian finance police patrol boat intercepted the 26 migrants traveling on the approximately five-meter wooden boat ten kilometers southwest of the coast of Lampedusa.
Upon request by the finance police, the coast guard sent a patrol boat to the scene that took aboard 14 women, 10 men and two children. The migrants said they were from Guinea, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast. After an initial health check carried out directly at the pier, the group was taken to the migrant hotspot in Contrada Imbriacola.
A record 35,000 migrants have landed so far this year on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, which is located around 330 kilometers off the coast of Tunisia. It is one of the first points of disembarkation for migrants entering Italy, before being moved elsewhere.
With a population of approximately 6,500, the island is struggling to process the vast numbers of daily arrivals, reaching over 800 on some days in 2021. Overall over 67,000 migrants arrived in Italy this year, with over half disembarking on Lampedusa.
Between January 1 and 2, a total of 55 people reached Sardinia in five separate landings. The first landing, on January 1, involved a small boat with ten people aboard that arrived on the beach at Sant'Anna Arresi, where the migrants were blocked by police.
Another boat carrying ten people was intercepted on the morning of January 2 by a finance police patrol boat off the coast. These migrants were transported to Cagliari. Three other landings took place on January 2. All the migrants were transferred to the initial reception center in Monastir for quarantine purposes.