In a joint statement to USA TODAY, the theme parks, which had previously said they would be closed for most of March, said they will remain closed through April 19 “as we continue to respond to current conditions and make the health and safety of team members and guests our top priority.”
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Disney World and Disneyland to see if the parks plan to extend their closures as well.
In addition to the theme parks, Universal CityWalk Orlando and Universal CityWalk Hollywood, the themed dining and shopping areas near each park’s entry gates, will also stay closed. Universal Orlando Resort hotels have also temporarily suspended operations.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed, based on guidance from health agencies and government officials,” the statement said.
On March 12, the two theme parks announced they would temporarily close in response to the spread of COVID-19. In a company statement at the time, Universal Studios Hollywood had said it would close until March 28 “out of an abundance of caution.” Universal Orlando Resort had announced on its website the Florida park could remain closed “through the end of March.”
The initial announcements came a day before California Gov. Gavin Newsom urged an end to gatherings of more than 250 people to counter spread of the coronavirus, a move he said would cause “real stress” for many people and businesses but save lives. Later that day, California public health officials issued an updated policy saying “non-essential” gatherings such as sporting events, concerts and conferences should be postponed or canceled until at least the end of March.
Newsom declared a state of emergency in California on March 4, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did the same on March 9.
Contributing: Chris Woodyard, Bryan Alexander and Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY