Official travel advice for the Canary Islands as a Saharan sandstorm strikes

The Canary Islands, usually an idyllic holiday destination baked in sunshine, are currently covered by a shroud of Saharan sand.

The sandstorm - so big that it is visible from space - was blown over the islands from the African continent by strong winds of up to 75mph.

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In the wake of the sandstorm on Sunday 23 February, Spain's airport operator Aena cancelled, suspended or diverted all flights to and from the islands citing low visibility.

Some 822 flights were affected.

The suspension didn't last all too long though, with Aena confirming that operations had resumed at all airports - aside from Tenerife South - later in the day.

Here's everything you need to know:

What's the latest?

Although flights to and from the islands were grounded over the weekend, they are beginning to operate again this morning (24 February).

Aena advise that passengers check their flight's status with airlines ahead of travelling.

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"We're staying in regular contact with our customers and we look forward to getting them on their way tomorrow [Monday]," a spokeswoman for airline British Airways said.

"Flights in and out of Gran Canaria, Tenerife South and Lanzarote have been suspended after storms of red sand from Africa's Saharan desert struck the Canary Islands," say Ryanair.

"Gusts of up to 40 knots (46 mph) are likely to disrupt flight operations in the Canaries until Monday 24 February resulting in further disruptions and cancellations."

If you have been affected by the delays, Ryanair have said "rescue flights are being planned to accommodate disrupted customers when visibility improves."

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"Ryanair is currently establishing hotel availability which is limited."

EasyJet said that "like all airlines," they experienced some disruption to their flying programme: "We are doing everything possible to minimise the impact of the disruption for our customers."

"Those due to travel on cancelled flights have been given the option of transferring their flight free of charge or receiving a refund."

Ferry services have also been affected by the high winds.

What's the official travel advice?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are yet to issue any "official" travel advice with regards to the Canary Islands, which include Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and La Palma.

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However, firefights continue to tackle wildfires on both Gran Canaria and Tenerife, which have forced the evacuation of hundreds of people.

The Foreign Office hasn't issued a specific alert about Gran Canaria but does give general advice about forest fires in Spain.

It explains that temperatures there often exceed 40C in the summer, which increases the risk of fires.

"Forest fires occur frequently in Spain (including Spanish islands) during the summer months," they say.

"Take care when visiting or driving through woodland areas.

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"Make sure cigarette ends are properly extinguished, don’t light barbecues and don’t leave empty bottles behind.

"You should be aware that causing a forest fire is treated as a criminal offence in Spain even if unintentional.

"If you see the onset of a forest fire, call the emergency services on 112."

Efforts to tackle the wildfires have also been affected by the high winds.