Here is a partial quote from an answer to the question about "How to avoid continuous integration-caused instabilities in test environments?":
This environment usually freezes during the tests.
My question: what are sample implementations of a frozen environment? I.e. what can you do to technically enforce that nobody (except if allowed by an authorized user like a release manager) will be able to change anything in such frozen environment.
I'm not talking about what (I think) is called "frozen periods" during (eg) year-end processing in banks. That is about not being allowed to apply any (repeat any) changes to production environments, to reduce the risk of new changes/fixes being introduced that may impact the year-end processing.
Assume that users who are allowed to approve/apply changes anyway (such as the release manager in my example), will only do so in exceptional cases. Such as where during testing a high severity issue is encountered, for which deferring a fix to a next release is not an option (since it would production at risk if the release would be activated without such fix).
This could just be about suspending any automated update during the time of the test. The point is: avoid someone else upgrading an Application A to version Y while another team is still testing application B in version X which rely on application A. This could mean having a guard to avoid a test team to require an update on a dependency under test.