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Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando to Close Over Coronavirus Fears

Both California and Florida have issued new guidance for gathering sizes, which influenced the decision to close Universal's parks

Hogwarts Castle at the opening of the 'Wizarding World of Harry Potter"
Rich Polk/Universal Studios/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

What to Know

  • Universal and Disney properties announced they would close their doors beginning Saturday over coronavirus spread.
  • By Thursday, more than 127,000 positive cases had been reported worldwide, with deaths exceeding 4,700.
  • CityWalk was to remain open.

Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort announced Thursday both resorts would be shut in hopes of containing the spread of coronavirus.

Universal Studios officials said the Hollywood park would be closing to the public beginning Saturday, and would reopen March 28.

Universal Orlando Resort was to temporarily close its theme parks beginning at the end of the day Sunday, March 15.

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"We anticipate remaining closed through the end of March but will continue to evaluate the situation," the statement said regarding the Florida park.

Universal Orlando hotels and Universal CityWalk in California and in Florida were expected to remain open.

The announcement comes shortly after Disney officials announced both theme parks in Orange County would shutter over coronavirus fears.

"The health and safety of our team members and guests is always our top priority.  Out of an abundance of caution and in response to the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health, Universal Studios Hollywood will temporarily close beginning Saturday, March 14. The theme park anticipates reopening on March 28 as we continue to monitor the situation," park officials said.

Any guests with questions regarding Universal Studios Hollywood tickets can call 1-800-UNIVERSAL (1-800-864-8377), option #9.

Any guests with questions regarding the Orlando park can call 877-801-9720.

Hourly employees were to be paid for any work scheduled through the end of March.

By Thursday, more than 127,000 positive cases had been reported worldwide, with deaths exceeding 4,700.

Many schools had been closed and moved to online courses while events and large gatherings had been canceled, from Coachella to "Hamilton" performances at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

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