According to the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, 75,000 tourists have visited the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone this year. In January and February, the zone was visited by about 3,000 people a month, but since March this figure has increased fivefold. 14,416 people visited the exclusion zone in August alone.
As of today, there are 21 tourist routes in the exclusion zone, namely 13 land, five water and three air routes. However, the water and air routes will be fully operational only when checkpoints are finally launched.
The EU handed the New Safe Confinement over to Ukraine in July 2019. The sarcophagus worth 1.5 billion euros had been built since 2012. According to the state agency, the sarcophagus has reduced the level of gamma radiation around the plant tenfold compared to that before its construction. The new confinement is expected to last 100 years.
The Chernobyl disaster occurred on April 26, 1986. Belarus (46,500 square kilometers), Ukraine (50,000 square kilometers), and Russia (60,000 square kilometers) were the most radiation-contaminated areas. An HBO miniseries brought the Chernobyl disaster back into public discussion, as its creators tried to show the events as accurately as possible. According to IMDb users, the miniseries has become the most popular TV show in history (as of today, it has a 9.5-star (out of 10) average rating on IMDb).