Right now, for those tourism interests what is relentless is the pressure to pay bills and try to keep at least core staff on some type of reduced salary.

With no prospect for significant earnings in sight, that will be increasingly difficult - and today we asked the Prime Minister if there will be relief for those tourism workers who are being laid off now, and into early June, and if there will be low cost financing options for tourism interests who are just trying to keep the lights on until full fledged tourism resumes:

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"And your announcement based on the information from IATA that the airport can't for any practical purpose open in early July, because there will be no flights. It will send people inevitably running for the exits layoffs on a large scale that hotel owners are trying to forestall, layoffs will inevitably ensue at the large hotels and at the airport even. Will the unemployment assistance program re-open? That is number 1, number 2: will the government speak with the commercial banks or make some line of financing available for these hotels, resorts tourism interest that are trying to hold on through an extremely difficult time when they've just run out of money?"

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"We've only spent as a consequence something like 11 million dollars I believe to date. Remember that we borrowed 75 million dollars to fund the unemployment relief program. I did take 10 (million) from that 75 (million) to start the food rollout, but that is going to be reimburse, so we still must think in terms of a 75 million dollar pool for unemployment relief. On that basis absolutely with the additional layoffs that we will see now the unemployment relief program will have to continue and perhaps be expanded."

"Yes, those newly laid off that are not yet in the unemployment relief pool will be able to gain entry and we can continue the unemployment relief program for as long as it will take for us to re-open tourism. GOB is working with the DFC on funding tourism sector loans at concessionary rates as a stop gap until the sector can return to strength."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"You know it's a tough time, people are saying they need something like 3%, not 8% or 5%."

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"From people in the industry who are saying they need a 5% or 6% rate. Now the problem with the DFC is that no doubt CDB is lending to the DFC at just about that rate and when they add on their administrator charges that what takes you up to 8% or 9%. 5% or 6% is what the industry can live it. I am telling you that in terms of that DFC line I will get it down to 6% hopefully 5%, but certainly no higher than 6%."

Channel 7