The Coronavirus is not considered as act of God, however it contains other elements that face the contracting Parties with inability in performance of their obligations.
As to the element of unpredictability, time of conclusion of the contract is fundamental: Coronavirus has been first recognized in December 2019 in China. Although the seriousness and danger of the virus outbreak was broadly reported in the media since the start, the global spread of the virus and its consequences in other countries was not a clear conclusion until several weeks later.
Therefore, while the unpredictability character of the conditions is applicable to the contracts that are concluded before December 2019, this is controversial for the contracts that have been concluded after December 2019: this should be ascertained on a country by country basis.
Therefore, those contracts that have been concluded after the outbreak of the virus in China but before the pandemic was declared by the WHO or started to affect a certain country, might invoke the Coronavirus outbreak as an event of Force Majeure in the contract, while this might not be possible for agreements concluded at a later stage.
It should be then verified if performance was indeed impossible and the consequences inevitable and if the event happened outside the will and actions of the contracting parties. This would be the case, for instance, in case of measures by the government for quarantine or lockdown or general shutdown of industrial, transport, business activities and governmental entities.
One other element that is not specifically mentioned in the regulations but should be taken into account for interpretation of the Force Majeure events is if the obligation could not be fulfilled by the obligated Party even without the situation caused by the outbreak, as in such case Force Majeure cannot be invoked.
In spite of above, normally the events of Force Majeure are listed in the Force Majeure Clause of a contract, so a first step the Parties should verify the content of the clause.
One good example in this regard, is sanctions against Iran that have resulted in cease of operation of many economical entities and rendered impossible the transfer of money: if such sanctions had not been listed as an event of Force Majeure, this would likely result in a dispute between the Parties. The same would happen for the Coronavirus disease, in case epidemic or pandemic were not listed specifically as a matter of Force Majeure in the contract.