The COVID-19 pandemic has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, despite governments’ efforts to ‘flatten the curve’. The measures to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak have been perceived as retrogressive for children and young people’s rights to participation. A common denominator across countries and regions is the reduced spaces for children and young people to influence decision-making processes and policy responses associated with COVID-19. This article critically examines the meanings and implications of children and young people’s participation rights in the time of COVID-19. In particular, it explores how lockdowns and other physical distancing measures have a negative impact on social interactions, leaving behind hard-to-reach children and young people and undermining some children and young people’s rights to participate on the premise that their protection is more relevant in crisis situations. This article discusses children and young people’s perspectives on how their opportunities to be listened to during the pandemic have been restricted. The article considers children and young people’s ability to communicate online, considering how those without access to the Internet – practically half the world – are left out, and, in the end, demonstrating that this pandemic is producing and exacerbating existing inequalities.