The COVID-19 pandemic has thus far restricted the large movement of people; nonetheless, we cannot exclude the disruptive power of a virus with similar characteristics to COVID-19 affecting both high- and low-income countries, as a factor for future mass migrations. Indeed, the top 15 countries affected by COVID-19 host about 9 million refugees, and it is, therefore, important to investigate and strengthen the readiness of countries’ health policies to ensure they are well equipped to deal with potential large influxes of ‘epidemic-related refugees and migrants.’ Using the Bardach Policy Framework as a tool for analysis, this article investigates the readiness of countries for a potential public health event (mass migration generated by future pandemics), therefore, aiming at a health response forecasting exercise. The article reviews the policies put in place by countries who faced large influxes of migrants between 2011 and 2015 (the policy-prolific years between the Arab Spring migration and the introduction of stringent measures in Europe) and new evidence generated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (including the ‘ECDC Guidance on infection prevention and control of COVID-19 in migrant and refugee reception and detention centres in the EU/EEA and the UK’ and the ‘WHO Lancet priority for dealing with migration and COVID-19′) to formulate a policy option able to strengthen national system capacities for responding to influxes of epidemic-related migrants and the management of highly infectious diseases.
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