The COVID-19 pandemic has raised awareness across the globe of how constitutions respond to crisis. Typically, countries, and their constitutions, have provisions that enable governments to respond to these crises rapidly through forms of exceptional powers which suspend usual constitutional norms. These powers are often invoked after declaring a ‘state of emergency’, a constitutional clause that has strict stipulations and requirements. Certain regimes, however, have been known to abuse these exceptional powers and to use them in times of normalcy (non-crisis). This paper examines how Bahrain has used exceptional measures to confront COVID-19, within the context of its past use of such powers, and suggests that Bahrain is not in a state of emergency, but is now operating in what Giorgio Agamben has labelled ‘a state of exception’.