Has the hot weather this week made you crave sunny holidays abroad?
If you’re spending your days dreaming about lounging on exotic beaches and exploring the sites of Europe’s most beautiful cities, you’re certainly not alone.
Essex’s very own Stansted Airport seems to be calling our names, ready for us to board flights and jet off on our summer trips.
But, for the second year in a row, coronavirus is making holidays tricky to plan. Countries are moved from green lists to amber and red and, within moments, your travel dreams could be crushed.
If you’re visiting a red list country, which are destinations to which the government advises against travelling, you’ll have to quarantine for 10 days in a Government-approved hotel upon your return and take two coronavirus tests. This includes Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, which both have direct flights from Stansted.
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When you return from a country on the amber list, you won’t have to quarantine but you will have to self-isolate for 10 days unless you’re fully vaccinated. Quarantining is observed in a hotel room, while self-isolating is in your own home and is self-mandated.
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You will also have to take three PCR tests on return from an amber-listed country unless you’re fully vaccinated.
Green lists are considered countries which are safest to visit and, with the fewest restrictions, they’re your best bet for a holiday abroad. But make sure to check the restrictions on the other end, because some countries have banned UK tourists.
It’s a tricky business and advice seems to be changing by the week, so it might be safer to stick to a holiday in the UK or Ireland this year. But if you’ve really got the travel bug, EssexLive has listed all the countries you can visit on the green and amber lists which have direct flights from Stansted.
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Green list countries
We’re very excited to see that Croatia is on the green list. It’s time to start dreaming of those beautifully sunny days in Dubrovnik. But be warned – Croatia is on the ‘green watchlist’, meaning that it could be relegated to amber at the next review.
Malta’s on the green list, but you have to show proof that you’re fully vaccinated. For those of you who are double-jabbed, now’s your chance to jet off to Malta.
Bulgaria has been given the green light, but watch out because UK travellers are banned from heading to Bulgaria at the moment.
Once the world is open again, there are three locations in this lovely Balkan nation with a direct route from Stansted. Will you book your flight to Burgas, Plovdiv or Sofia?
You can fly to Tel Aviv in Israel from Stansted, but you’ll need to take a PCR test if you’re not fully vaccinated.
Amber list countries
You can fly to Copenhagen, Aarhus, Billund and Aalborg directly from Stansted. Denmark is on the amber list.
Your options for direct flights to Morocco are Marrakech, Agadir, Fez or Rabat.
It’s a favourite for British holidaymakers but France is on the amber list. There are 25 locations in France to which you can fly directly from Stansted. This includes Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse and Nice.
The home of pasta has also made the amber list. Of the 21 Italy spots with a direct flight to Stansted, why not keep in mind Milan, Florence or Naples?
Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands
Another Stansted favourite, there are 23 locations in Spain to which you can make a direct flight. Is Barcelona your choice or are you hoping to jet off to Ibiza?
Lanzarote and Tenerife are usually tourist hotspots on the Canary Islands, and you can get a direct flight from Stansted. The Balearic Islands include Menorca and Palma de Mallorca.
You can either fly to Amsterdam, which takes 1 hour 25 minutes, or Eindhoven, which is just over an hour from Stansted.
We’d love to be flying off to sunny Greece. There’s plenty of options from Stansted, including Athens, Corfu and Rhodes.
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Have you ever been to Basel or Geneva from Stansted?
Berlin and Cologne are two of 11 locations you might want to fly to from Essex’s airport.
There was a time when we were all booking holidays to Portugal and it was on the green list, but it’s back on the amber list now. If you’re still looking to book your Portugal holiday, Lisbon, Porto and Faro have direct links to Stansted.
A trip to Krakow or Warsaw is possible if you’re happy travelling to a country on the amber list.
Did you know you could travel to Bratislava in Slovakia from Stansted?
Prague, Ostrava and Brno are your options if you want to head to the Czech Republic.
A flight to Bucharest will take 3 hours and 10 minutes from Stansted.
Is Budapest your idea of a perfect getaway? You can fly there directly from our airport in Essex.
It takes 2 hours and 50 minutes to get to Chisinau in Moldova.
Sweden might be the place for you this summer. It’s currently on the amber list, with Stockholm and Gothenburg the two locations with a direct link to Stansted.
Salzburg, Vienna and Innsbruck are your Austria options.
Famous for its landscapes and forests, Lithuania is on the amber list. Its capital city is Vilnius, which is one of the locations to which you can fly from Stansted.
Another on the amber list is Cyprus. Why not have a look at Larnaca or Paphos next time you’re dreaming of flying away to somewhere sunny?
Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, is your best bet for a direct flight from Stansted.
Have you considered Luxembourg for your next trip?
There are two spots in Montenegro with links to Stansted. Podgorica is 4 hours and 20 minutes away, while Tivat is a longer journey at six hours.
Latvia’s also on the amber list, with Riga your best bet if you want to catch a flight from Stansted.
Tallinn in Estonia is a two hour 50 minute flight from Stansted.
Oslo’s a gorgeous city and was awarded the prestigious title European Green Capital in 2019. We can’t wait until we can finally visit.
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