Universal announces another round of layoffs as coronavirus limits theme park attendance

Job cuts follow several recent major changes as parks struggle due to pandemic

Universal Orlando changes mask policy

ORLANDO, Fla. – Another round of Universal employees are now without work as the company announces a second set of layoffs amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Company officials confirmed the second round of layoffs in a statement on Friday, just weeks after announcing its first set of job cuts due to financial hardships brought on by the virus.

“We continue to manage our business through challenging times, focusing on the health and safety of our guests and team members and working to remain as resilient as possible. We are prioritizing daily operations and shorter-term projects and continuing our pause on longer-term projects such as Epic Universe as we allow the tourism industry to recover. We have again made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce to reflect current priorities and needs,” a spokesperson for the company said. “As always, we are aware of the impact this will have on those affected by this decision and their families. We are grateful for their contribution and we will support them through this process with severance pay, subsidized health benefits and reemployment assistance. We continue to have confidence in the long term future of our business, our industry and our community.”

It’s unclear how many employees will be affected by the layoffs.

Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay all closed in mid-March to stop the spread of COVID-19. They reopened June 5 but with reduced capacity and social distancing guidelines in place as concerns about COVID-19 linger.

In addition to the layoffs, Universal has also had to temporarily halt construction on its fourth Central Florida theme park: Epic Universe.

Last week, Universal announced that its massive annual fall event, Halloween Horror Nights, was also canceled due to the pandemic. This year would have marked Halloween Horror Night’s 30th anniversary.

Economic forecasters and tourism leaders said earlier this month that they believe Orange County’s economy is on a slow rise to recovery but added that public health measures will determine the actual shape of the recovery.

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