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Universal Orlando is laying off more employees amid COVID-19

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Universal Orlando Resort has again “made the difficult decision” to lay off an undisclosed number of employees as it copes with the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Universal has not disclosed how many jobs were affected, but the cuts do not include hourly workers. This comes after Disney said it was laying off approximately 28,000 employees.

“We continue to manage our business through challenging times and we again have made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce as we position our business for the future,” Universal Orlando spokesperson Tom Schroder told Spectrum News.

“We continue to be aware of the impact this will have on those affected by this action and we are working to support them through this process,” added Schroder.

Universal Orlando reopened its parks in June after closing in March over COVID-19. Soon after, the company announced that it would be reducing its workforce.

In a statement, Universal explained that “this decision was not made lightly, but was necessary to prepare us for the future”, adding that the company was “aware of the impact this will have on those affected by this reduction and their families”.

Universal cuts do not include hourly workers

Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, attributed Disney’s layoffs to “the prolonged impact of COVID-19”, including limited capacity and “continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic”.

He added that this has been “exacerbated in California by the state’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen”.

Meanwhile, Universal Orlando is closing its water park Volcano Bay in order to “conduct annual maintenance on several attractions” between November 2020 and March 2021.

The resort also expanded its schedule for Halloween, and will be offering its new haunted houses on additional dates, despite the cancellation of Halloween Horror Nights 2020.

Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay all hit limited capacity on September 19 as Universal Orlando launched the new haunted houses.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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