Canadian circus performance firm Cirque Du Soleil has shut down all its shows and laid off most of its workforce due to the current situation.
Bosses at the world-famous entertainment company announced on Thursday that they are temporarily terminating the employment of 4,679 of their staff – 95 per cent of its workforce – and shutting down all their 44 shows.
In a press release, the group’s President and CEO, Daniel Lamarre, said: “It is the most difficult day in Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group history.
We’re deeply saddened by the dramatic measures taken today, as the temporary layoff includes many hardworking, dedicated people.
“Unfortunately, this decision is our only option as we are forced to position ourselves to weather this storm and prepare for eventual re-openings.”
However, they said they would provide support for employees who have been laid off, including paid vacation time, maintaining insurance coverage, and offering access to their employee support program.
Lamarre added that he is “confident” the measures would allow Cirque du Soleil to welcome fans back to their shows as soon as the crisis is over.
Governments in countries across the world have banned mass gatherings, with many also placing restrictions on citizens banning them from leaving their homes unless necessary. As of Friday, more than 246,000 had contracted the v**** worldwide, with d**** at more than 10,000.