Bosses at Southend Airport are calling for more clarity on when international travel can begin again, with the aviation industry among the most "severely impacted" by Covid-19.

Outdoor hospitality will be among those reopening in England next week after the Prime Minister confirmed the roadmap is on track and planned easements can go ahead.

The move, confirmed at last night's press conference, will see pubs, restaurants and cafes reopen outdoors, while hairdressers, gyms and shops will be able to welcome customers from Monday (April 12).

But Boris Johnson refused to be drawn on possible arrangements for allowing foreign travel, which - according to the road map out of lockdown - could be allowed from May.

Mr Johnson said he still needed to see more data before making a final decision, but Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Air - which runs Southend Airport - is calling for answers and further financial support.

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Mr Jones said: "Aviation is among the industries most severely impacted by Covid and urgently needs clarity about both the available destinations and the circumstances, for example testing and quarantine, that will apply, in order to build confidence among prospective travellers.

"Airports such as London Southend have invested to make travel as safe as it can be for passengers, we now need Government to play its part in rebuilding confidence and increasing passenger numbers by providing clarity. 

"Until that happens, airports need far more financial support than has hitherto been provided.

"At London Southend, the AGOSS (The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme), welcome as it is, covers only 5 per cent of what are largely fixed costs.

"If, as seems likely given the very cautious tone struck by the Prime Minister today, Summer 2021 will see a slow and partial return to international travel, far greater support with costs is essential."

At the press conference, the Prime Minister said: “We set out our road map and we’re sticking with it.

“And I want to stress that we see nothing in the present data that makes us think that we will have to deviate from that road map.

“But it is by being cautious, by monitoring the data at every stage and by following the rules – remembering hand, face, space, fresh air – that we hope together to make this road map to freedom irreversible.”