Universal Studios Orlando Lays Off Employees After Reopening on June 5

The theme parks at the resort had been closed since mid-March

Last Updated: June 24, 2020 @ 4:14 PM

Universal Studios’ Orlando Resort has laid off a number of employees across various departments, just two weeks after the theme park reopened its doors on June 5, a spokesperson for the parks and resorts told TheWrap.

The spokesperson did not say how many individuals were laid off or which departments were affected, though the reduction of staff within the Parks and Resorts workforce were layoffs as opposed to just furloughs.

Laid off employees will receive severance pay, subsidized health benefits and help with professional reemployment, according to the spokesperson.

“This decision was not made lightly, but was necessary to prepare us for the future. We are aware of the impact this will have on those affected by this reduction and their families, and we are working to support them through this process,” the spokesperson said. “We continue to have long-term confidence in our business and our industry and remain excited about all of the projects we have been working toward.”

Universal in Orlando reopened its Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay under limited capacity and new safety restrictions earlier this month. The park first closed in mid-March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Walt Disney World theme parks will begin a phased reopening beginning on July 11, with Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11, followed by Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15.

Among the safety requirements in place at Universal Studios is a requirement for both guests and staff to wear a face mask and for everyone to receive temperature checks before being allowed to enter Universal CityWalk or the theme parks. The parks are also open with staggered parking in the garages, limited riders on attractions, social distancing in lines, contactless payment options and increasing cleaning. Other rides that can allow it also have virtual line offerings.

News of the layoffs was first reported by a local news affiliate in Orlando.

Read the full statement from Universal Studios below:

We are working to structure and strengthen our business for the future in anticipation of the tourism industry taking time to fully recover. In that regard, we have already taken important steps such as adjusting budgets and implementing salary reductions and furloughs.  Most recently, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our Parks & Resorts workforce across multiple locations and business units.  This decision was not made lightly, but was necessary to prepare us for the future.  We are aware of the impact this will have on those affected by this reduction and their families, and we are working to support them through this process.  This includes severance pay, subsidized health benefits and professional reemployment assistance. We continue to have long-term confidence in our business and our industry and remain excited about all of the projects we have been working toward.

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