Contemporary Southeastern Europe
The Othering of Returning Migrants in Romania during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic
On the night of 10-11 March 2020, several Romanian news outlets filmed and photographed hundreds of vehicles in long queues trying to enter Romania from Hungary at the border in Nădlac. The COVID-19 outbreak that had officially begun a few months earlier in China was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation the next day, as it was clear that many countries in Europe and in the rest of the world were starting to be severely affected by the new coronavirus. That was not the case in Romania yet, but the level of alert in the country was rather high, mostly because of the strong links between Romania and Italy, the country that was most affected at the time, with more than 10,000 cases and 631 deaths.