Pandemic Policy Vs. The Private Sphere

Mark Johnson

October 22, 2020

I am not a COVID sceptic. I thought that the lockdown was necessary, that we should wear masks and take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. However, there is one pillar of fundamental liberty which has now been breached and nobody is talking about it; the encroachment of COVID restrictions into the home.

The consent of the British public has begun to creak. This is the foundation upon which lockdowns and the Government’s whole strategy.  The fraying of consent is as a result of distress caused to students and others, hypocrisy from people in positions of power and a slow but growing level of Government intrusion into people’s lives.

The Pandemic has been particularly damaging to civil liberties. Setting aside the fact that the nation was effectively under house arrest during the lockdown period, policymaking has become increasingly authoritarian as governments have endeavored to control the spread of the virus at all costs. The UK’s draconian Coronavirus Act allows the police to detain anyone they deem infectious, with no appeals and no safeguards. Countries around the world have deployed contact tracing which amounts more to bio-surveillance than public health management.

However, one particularly creeping intrusion has began to set in and has so far gone completely unchecked. A general principle of policy making in liberal democracies has been the tendency to let people live in their homes unimpeded. As the old proverb goes “a man (person)’s home is his castle”, effectively underlining the right to privacy from the interference of others (particularly the state) once you return home. Yet during the last 6 months – governments have increasingly dictated who you may have in your own home.

In “tier two” lockdowns and above, you may not invite individuals from another household into your home unless you form a “support bubble”. If your family have more than one elderly dependent, you must pick one to legitimately see. In Scotland, students, who may be as young as 17 and by law can legally register to vote at more than one residence, have been banned by the First Minister from returning home.

This is deeply problematic for anyone who believes in personal rights and freedoms as well as the right to private property in the most literal sense. In 1984, Winston Smith is watched by the omnipresent Big Brother through a two-way television screen, monitoring his every movement and ensuring he does not break the rules which govern the world in which he lives, including in his own home. This dystopian nightmare may feel like a farfetched comparison, but invite the wrong person, or too many people, into your home and you could have police at your door and be landed with a hefty fine.

Few question the necessity of serious Government intervention in the midst of the most serious global Pandemic in 100 years, but the fine line between managing the public health situation and controlling the population must be monitored closely. In such circumstances a Government can, and arguably should, legitimately introduce measures to regulate the use of public transport, close down public spaces and consider licensing laws. However, crossing the threshold into the home is a step too far.

Once COVID restrictions are no longer essential, and that day will come, it is the duty of everyone who believes in their own freedom to ensure that these emergency powers are scaled back. If a safe world is one where we are routinely blocked from seeing our loved ones, that doesn’t sound like a particularly endearing world to me at all.


  • Mark Johnson

    Mark Johnson is a senior public affairs executive. He was a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in the 2019 general election.

Written by Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is a senior public affairs executive. He was a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in the 2019 general election.


  1. Thanks for some other great post. Where else may just
    anybody get that type of info in such a perfect way of writing?

    I have a presentation next week, and I am on the search for
    such information.

  2. Wonderful article! This is the kind of info
    that should be shared around the web. Shame on Google for not positioning this put up higher!
    Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

  3. Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to understand so much approximately this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I feel that you simply could do with a few to power the message house a bit, but other than that, that is great blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  4. I’m not sure where you are getting your information,
    but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning
    much more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this
    information for my mission.

  5. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am inspired!
    Extremely useful information specially the last phase :
    ) I care for such information much. I was seeking this certain info for
    a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  6. Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from
    somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine.
    Please let me know where you got your theme.


  7. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact
    enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  8. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog
    that’s equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something not enough men and
    women are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I
    came across this in my search for something relating to this.

  9. I was suggested this blog by means of my cousin. I am no longer
    positive whether or not this publish is written by way of him as nobody else recognize such targeted about my problem.
    You’re wonderful! Thank you!

  10. Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from.
    Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book
    mark this page.

  11. My family every time say that I am killing my time here at web, however I know I am getting knowledge
    everyday by reading thes nice articles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Capitalism and freedom are under attack. If you support 1828’s work, help us champion freedom by donating here.

Keep Reading



Sign up today to receive exclusive insights