Coronavirus: Disney World to remain closed until further notice, company says
Cast members will be paid through April 18, officials say
ORLANDO, Fla. – As the number of coronavirus cases in Florida continues to climb, Walt Disney World officials have announced that the company’s operations will remain suspended until further notice.
Company officials said Friday that Walt Disney World Resort ad Disneyland Resort will remain closed until further notice.
“As a result of this of this unprecedented pandemic and in line with direction provided by health experts and government officials, Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice,” the company said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Disney announced its theme parks and hotel would remain closed through the end of March.
[Timeline: The spread of coronavirus in Florida]
In the statement released Friday, company officials said Walt Disney Company has been paying its cast members since the closures began and will continue to pay hourly park and resort cast members through April 18.
Matt Hollis is the president of the Service Trades Council Union, this is a coalition of unions representing more than 42,000 cast members.
Before Disney's announcement, Hollis sent a letter to park officials saying cast members were left in the dark as they waited for Disney to make a decision on if the parks would reopen or if they would continue getting paid during an extended closure.
Hollis said this news will give cast members peace of mind.
"That is a huge sense of relief for the thousands of cast members that work under our agreement. It's a step in the right direction and it's Disney continuing to lead the way in the entertainment industry in Central Florida," Hollis said. "I know that it gives our cast members a sense of relief during these very, very uncertain times."
Hollis said it is unclear when Disney will reopen.
“Disney World and the unions, we all share a common goal that we want to see Disney World opened and be open for business as soon as it is safe to do so and we want to see our cast members return back to work as soon as it is safe to do so,” Hollis said. “We’ll continue to work with them to get all of our members up to date as possible.”
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At last check, 2,900 Florida-related cases of COVID-19 have been reported and at least 34 people have died, according to the Florida Department of Health.
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