Coronavirus and Contract Performance - Macau Perspective
by MdMe Lawyers, Macau, ROC

The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has been a large-scale event disrupting peoples’ lives, businesses and other activities. It has led Governments to implement unprecedented and stringent measures to contain the spread of the virus, quarantining entire urban populations, severely restricting travel and closing government departments, public spaces and businesses amid concerns of systemic impact to regional and global economies. Highlighting the severity of the measures taken by the Macau Government was the unprecedented and complete shutdown of all casinos for a 15-day period from 5 to 19 February 2020 (inclusive). 

In an economy (almost) completely reliant on tourism and the gaming industry, the sequence of events caused by the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to impact the ability of economic agents to perform their legal/ contractual obligations. In common language, this is often referred to as a force majeure event, in the sense that it is unforeseeable, insurmountable and unavoidable. Legally, these “force majeure” events may be relevant and deployed under several legal mechanisms. 

In the full alert we will briefly refer to the key legal remedies available for the parties in a contract to deal with the impact of an event like the COVID-19 epidemic including:

I. Impossibility to perform
II. Change of Circumstances
III. Good Faith
IV. Defense of Unperformed Contract
V. Force Majeure in Administrative Contracts

To view the full alert, click here.