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SeaWorld is temporarily furloughing over 90% of its employees

Workers won’t be paid after March 31st, but will be eligible for unemployment benefits

FILE - This Jan. 31, 2017, file photo shows the entrance to SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla. Florida tourism officials say cases of the new coronavirus are having little visible impact on the state's biggest industry so far. Orlando is the nation's most visited tourist destination, bringing vast numbers of people from around the globe to its major theme parks, which also include Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando. Officials with Busch Gardens and SeaWorld hasn't responded to email inquiries about how the coronavirus had affected them, as of Sunday evening, March 8, 2020. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
FILE - This Jan. 31, 2017, file photo shows the entrance to SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla. Florida tourism officials say cases of the new coronavirus are having little visible impact on the state's biggest industry so far. Orlando is the nation's most visited tourist destination, bringing vast numbers of people from around the globe to its major theme parks, which also include Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando. Officials with Busch Gardens and SeaWorld hasn't responded to email inquiries about how the coronavirus had affected them, as of Sunday evening, March 8, 2020. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File) (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SeaWorld is temporarily furloughing over 90% of its employees as of April 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Its workers won't be paid after March 31 but will be eligible for unemployment benefits, the company stated in an SEC filing.

"Our parks will remain closed and are unable to generate revenue; therefore, we have made the painful but necessary business decision to temporarily furlough over 90% of our current workforce, including corporate employees, to position the company for long-term viability," SeaWorld shared Friday in a statement with CNN Business.

It is unknown how long the employees will be laid off, according to SeaWorld.

The company, which operates 12 theme parks around the United States, announced on March 13 it was closing down all its locations. "During this time, animal care experts will continue to look after the health and welfare of the animals in our care," it wrote on March 13. On Friday, it said this continues to be the case.

SeaWorld's stock fell 10.56% after the market closed on Friday.

The tourism industry has been badly battered by the coronavirus.

Marriott, the world's largest hotel chain, started furloughing its employees on March 17, saying in a statement to CNN Business that it was "experiencing significant drops in demand."

Disney closed its eleven theme parks across North America, Europe and Asia in mid-March. Universal Orlando Resort announced it, too, would temporarily shut dow its theme parks starting at the close of business on March 15.