I think this is a better example.
The first thought that came to my mind was, Well, even in that case, you don’t have to tell a lie in order to protect your, um, stowaways. (Not the right word, but whatev.) You could use mental reservation to say something true that your questioner will likely misinterpret.
My second thought was, But can you be expected to do the mental gymnastics necessary to keep up the front without falling into lying?
And then my third thought was, Well, if you tried to do your best and ended up crossing the line into lying, you might be able to make a case that you did it under a kind of duress induced by stress, and therefore your freedom in telling the lie was mitigated. There might be other ways to arrive at a similar conclusion.
I do think I’ve seen that third option talked about before, to return to the OP’s question of whether this has ever been addressed. If people have lied in order to protect someone, that’s not good or okay, but I think a case can be made that the person in that situation, who tries not to lie but falls into it, either lacks knowledge or lacks consent. And I think that may eliminate the guilt involved.