Wayne Walker reports.

The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, JHTA, says the technical glitches that delayed the payment of benefits under the COVID-19 relief programme, have pushed many businesses in the sector closer to what it calls financial ruin.

The government announced the COVID-19 CARE programme when the pandemic started, and asked hotels to pay workers a part of their salaries and await repayment from the administration.

But, Past President of the JHTA, Wayne Cummings, says what should’ve been a simple process turned into what he calls a fiasco.

Mr Cummings says hotels had advanced months of payments to their workers, hit by the pandemic.

But, he says the resorts received the first tranche of payback only Monday.

He says businesses in the sector are keen to support the government with additional payments to workers for July and August.

But, he says they are skeptical about the undertaking, unless the government assures them that what he calls the embarrassing administrative missteps are fixed.

In the meantime, Mr Cummings sought to answer the following question.

He says businesses in the sector are now rethinking the payment structure they’ve always used.

He’s also demanding that the government moves swiftly to clear the backlog of test results to be issued to persons.

Mr Cummings says the government should utilize more private labs to assist with the testing.