ORLANDO, Fla. – After closing its parks due to the coronavirus, SeaWorld Entertainment Co. announced Friday that it will furlough 90% of its workers without compensation.
The workers will be temporarily furloughed without pay beginning April 1. Those employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits.
SeaWorld officials did not say how long it expects parks to stay closed or when workers would be able to return.
“The furlough period is uncertain at this time due to the temporary park closures and will be reassessed as business conditions dictate,” a statement from the company said. “The Company looks forward to welcoming back its ambassadors and guests when it is safe to open again.”
SeaWorld followed Disney and Universal announcing theme park closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Universal Orlando announced its theme parks will be closed through April 19 and on Friday Walt Disney World officials announced that the company’s operations will remain suspended until further notice. Legoland officials said its theme and water parks would remain closed through April 14.
SeaWorld announced March 13 it would its Florida parks to prevent the spread of the virus, including Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island, SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica and Discovery Cove.
During SeaWorld’s closure, animal care experts will continue to look after the health and well being of the animals inside, officials said.