Abstract. Having emerged in a global world with its high cross-border population mobility, the COVID‑19 pandemic could not but affect the basic characteristics of this process. Almost everywhere, partial or complete restrictions on movements between countries and within individual nations have been recognized as one of the most effective means of combating the spread of the infection. This resulted in a broad blocking of tourist flows and business trips, as well as in the increased difficulties of students studying abroad and the serious reduction of labour mobility. The problems associated with the need to regulate migration flows in emergency conditions are considered in the article using the example of two – at first glance different, but in fact clearly overlapping – country cases. The selection of Italy and Sweden is not accidental. These nations have demonstrated both similarities and differences in the objective circumstances and subjective factors that determined their chosen strategies to combat the pandemic and the priorities of their migration policies. The deep differences in socio-cultural traditions and the dissimilarity of these strategies between the two countries are reflected, in particular, in the divergent impact of COVID‑19 and its consequences on social cohesion, weakening it in Italy and strengthening it in Sweden. The increased relevance of the problem of migration in the mass consciousness that associated with the coronavirus pandemic is fraught with the emergence and spread of erroneous stereotypes, philistine phobias, and conspiracy theories. This explains the revival of the tendency to strengthen the role of anti-immigrant populist and nationalist parties and movements, which may lead to a corresponding change in the configuration and balance of political forces.
Keywords: COVID‑19, movement of the population, Italy, Sweden, pandemic countermeasures, immigration regulation, social dissonances
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