The outbreak of coronavirus caused disruption across greater China and its region. In connection with this, local and worldwide governments have imposed a series of containment measures.  For instance, lockdown of certain cities located in the People’s Republic of China Mainland, extension of public holidays, and international travel restrictions or quarantine measures imposed by Australia, Italy, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam (amongst others) on travellers to and from regions affected by the Coronavirus.

The global concern toward an intangible threat also influences practice area of Law such as employment law, contract law, dispute resolution, contract law et cetera.

In the context of contract provisions and dispute resolution, any public disruption event may be a breeding ground for dispute to arise. In such context, it is paramount to seek legal advice in relation to mandatory contractual obligations. For instance, one of the parties may wish to restrict the effect of a contract arguing that it is frustrated in its own structure. Again, a force majeure clause typically excuses one or both parties from performing the contract in the occurrence of certain type of events.

While mechanisms exist to avoid the performance of contractual obligation under certain circumstances. However, both frustration and force majeure require a careful assessment of the facts and their requirements are fact-specific.