This article contends that art.15 ECHR should be used to accommodate what have become known as "lockdown" powers necessary to confront the coronavirus pandemic. In this way, such exceptional powers can be quarantined to exceptional situations. Using art. 5 ECHR and the right to liberty as an illustrative example, this article demonstrates that far from protecting human rights standards, failure to use article 15 ECHR risks normalising exceptional powers and permanently recalibrating human rights protections downwards.