The Equality and Human Rights commission has warned Boris Johnson that he must strike a balance between public health and human rights freedoms.
The warning comes as the Prime Minister announced new restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The EHRC has called on ministers to ensure new coronavirus restrictions are subject to review and are open to challenge to protect human rights.
Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of EHRC, warned that the UK was “walking a tightrope”.
“We need to find the balance between saving lives from coronavirus, and allowing people the hard won freedoms that are the framework for those lives - such as a right to a private and family life, to freedom of assembly, and to an education,” she said.
“This must go hand in hand with an economic recovery that provides everyone with an adequate standard of living.”
Ms Hilsenrath raised concerns that residential care was not being sufficiently protected and that the stay-at-home message may have stopped some from getting health care that they require.
“Staying at home to protect the NHS was a simple message but it may have stopped screening and the right to health care for those with other conditions such as cancer,” Ms Hilsenrath warned.
"Blanket approaches may well have other consequences.
“The virus isn't going anywhere anytime soon and we have to make sure that our efforts to live free from coronavirus don't come at too high a price.”
She called on the Government to make sure that “protections are proportionate, measured, and rooted in science and the law”.
Ms Hilsenrath urged the Government to ensure that any changes that restricted an individual’s rights were “flexible” and were subject to “review and end points” and “remain open to challenge”.
"If we want to protect public health and save lives, then changes need to complement or enhance our human rights, not treat them as optional,” she said.
It comes as Mr Johnson told the Commons that new coronavirus restrictions would include office staff working from home, the wider use of face masks and a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants, and that they should "assume that the restrictions I have announced will remain in place for perhaps six months".
Earlier this year Devora Kestel, director of the World Health Organisation’s mental health department, warned of the “psychological distress” the isolation, uncertainty and economic turmoil of coronavirus could have on millions on people.
"The mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently," she said in May, shortly after Amnesty International UK warned of a human rights crisis as a result of the pandemic.
In response to Mr Johnson’s “six months” announcement Caroline Abrahams, Age UK's charity director, said people were "deeply disappointed" at the time scale of the new measures.
"Many older people look forward to Christmas as the one time in the year when their family gets together, including those living far away,” she said. "To be deprived of having this to look forward to will be a bitter blow for them.”