The Blue Lagoon laid off 164 employees on Thursday. Mbl.is was the first to report. The popular tourist destination closed on March 23 out of precautions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and will remain closed until at least April 30.
Prior to the lay-offs, Blue Lagoon employed 764 employees. In order to avoid additional lay-offs, the company intends to take advantage of the government’s COVID-19 response package, which allows part-time employees to claim up to 75% of unemployment. Blue Lagoon will offer 400 employees reduced hours.
“These are grievous measures,” wrote Blue Lagoon CEO Grímur Sæmundsen in a statement on the lay-offs, “but are unavoidable in light of the circumstances.” Grímur continued by saying that “it’s clear that the short-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are enormous, but what they will be on the company’s future operations are unclear at this time.”