This article argues that the right to have and express freedom can be restricted for several reasons, including a public safety emergency. In line with this idea, this article discusses government regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a crucial impact on the discourse on the right to freedom in Indonesia. Methodologically, this study uses critical qualitative analysis to overview the focus issue of this research in academic work and mainstream media coverage. At this point, this study uses relevant and recently published information regarding the intersection between Indonesian government regulations related to COVID-19 and the manifestation of the right to freedom, especially freedom of religion. This article provides an essential finding that restrictions on the right to have freedom are justified in consideration of public health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. International human rights conventions explain this mechanism. This article is a timely and contextual academic review with two contributions. First, this article theoretically adds information to academic discussions around the intersection between human rights, religion, and state regulation. Second, this study will help the state and religion build a constructive response to the COVID-19 pandemic and future crises. This contribution can be elaborated more profound and comprehensive in future research.