Walt Disney Co. announced Friday that it will keep its theme parks in California and Florida closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim and Walt Disney World in Orlando were scheduled to re-open on April 1. Both parks had closed two weeks ago.
The company said in a statement that while there was much uncertainty about the impacts of COVID-19, the safety and well-being of its guests and employees remains a top priority.
“As a result 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’s statement said.
California is under a stay-at-home order, meaning all nonessential businesses must stay closed. It is unknown when the order will be lifted.
Disney has been paying its hourly parks and resorts employees since the closure on March 14 and will continue to do so through April 18, it said in the statement.
It is only the fourth time in the Anaheim park’s history that it has suspended operations. The others were following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Northridge earthquake and the assassination of President John Kennedy.
Shares of Disney (DIS) closed Friday down $8.96, or about 8.5 percent, to $96.40 on the New York Stock Exchange.