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The negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses resulted in emergency legislation to attenuate the consequences thereof.
The "Gesetz zur Abmilderung der Folgen der Covid-19-Pandemie im Zivil-, Insolvenz- und Strafverfahrensrecht" (Act to Mitigate the Consequences of the COVID-19Pandemic under Civil, Insolvency and Criminal Procedure Law) of March 27, 2020, provides for measures to limit the adverse effects of the crisis and to avoid permanent serious damage to the German economy.
A link for downloading the English translation of this act is available in the left column.
Programs for the provision of funds to bridge the liquidity shortages constitute the core of these measures.
The catalog of measures includes changes of current insolvency law provisions (e.g., suspension of the mandatory obligation of legal entities to file a voluntary insolvency petition, effects of this suspension, restrictions on involuntary petitions).
The measures are based on the assumption that the negative economic effects of the pandemic have reached a systemic dimension.
This assumption concludes that even profitable or restructurable businesses can become insolvent under these extraordinary circumstances.
The emergency legislation is designed to protect such businesses against insolvency by governmental aid programs and accompanying private financing and restructuring measures, such as the exemption of certain payments from preference claims.

The general suspension of the mandatory obligation to file a voluntary insolvency petition pursuant to section 15a of the German Insolvency Code (InsO) has expired on September 30, 2020.
Between October 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, this suspension was limited to cases of balance sheet insolvency and did no longer apply to cases of cash flow insolvency.
Ultimately, between January 1, 2021, and April 30, 2021, the suspension was limited even further to executives of debtors which had applied for financial aid under state aid programs for attenuating the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This suspension did not apply if the application for financial aid clearly could not be expected to be granted or if the requested financial aid was clearly insufficient to eliminate the debtor's factual insolvency.
The above mentioned mandatory obligation to file a voluntary insolvency petition has been fully reinstated since May 1, 2021.

Links to pages with additional information:

Act to Mitigate the Consequences of the COVID-19Pandemic under Civil, Insolvency and Criminal Procedure Law
German statute in English (only current as of March 27, 2020)

Article on Covid 19 Related German Insolvency Legislation by Heuking Kuehn Lueer Wojtek

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