Asylum seekers at the refugee tent camp in Thisted earlier this year. Photo: Sara Gangsted/Scanpix
Figures released by the Integration Ministry on Monday showed the lowest the lowest number of registered asylum seekers in the ten weeks since Denmark started performing checks at the German border.
In the first week after border checks were put in place, there were 640 asylum seekers. That number hovered between 200 and 300 per week throughout most of January and February but had been below 200 for the past three weeks before plunging further to 80 last week.
On three days last week – Wednesday, Friday and Sunday – the number of asylum seekers was in the single digits, culminating with just five people on Sunday.
Denmark has extended its border checks four times since their introduction on January 4th. The most recent extension will keep the controls in place until at least April 3rd.
The Danish government has said that border controls will remain necessary as long as Sweden continues its ID checks, which have also been extended numerous times.
“While the Swedish border is de facto closed for asylum seekers without correct papers, there is a risk of large groups of refugees and migrants being stranded here in Denmark when they find themselves unable to travel onwards to Sweden,” Integration Minister Inger Støjberg said earlier this month.
Denmark, which has half the population of Sweden, received 21,000 asylum applications in 2015, a rise of 44 percent from the previous year. Sweden, meanwhile received 163,000 asylum applications last year, but has also seen the number of migrant arrivals fall sharply since introducing its border measures.