Updated 5.44pm with photos from Comino

Around 100 deck chairs and over 30 umbrellas were confiscated from Qawra Point in an enforcement action this morning.  

The joint operation conducted by the Malta Tourism Authority and the Lands Authority, was carried out in the area commonly known as Ta’ Fra Ben. The action was taken shortly after Times of Malta this morning reported the frustration of swimmers who find Għadira Bay cluttered with deck chairs as early as 6.30am.

The Qawra deckchairs, umbrellas and umbrella bases, which filled two truckloads, had been found to be in breach of the terms and conditions of the applicable permits.

The relevant operator was informed on previous occasions that they were not operating in accordance with the permit terms and was advised to comply. 

The joint action is part of the ongoing drive aimed at ensuring that regulations are respected in full, the two authorities said. It comes a week after five truckloads of illegally-placed deckchairs and umbrellas were removed from Armier and Little Armier Bay.

"Operators in other locations in Malta and Gozo are voluntarily taking action, in order to regularise their position. This joint action is, therefore, sending yet another clear message that the authorities are taking this matter seriously and that further abuse will not be tolerated."

The deckchairs occupying Għadira bay.The deckchairs occupying Għadira bay.

Earlier on Saturday swimmers complained that hundreds of deck chairs were being put out by beach operators at the popular Għadira Bay by sunrise.

Later, a reader also submitted photos from the Blue Lagoon in Comino. He said that by 8.40am the bay was full of umbrellas and deck chairs.

Entrepreneurs filling public beaches with private deckchairs and umbrellas for hire have been warned by activists to stop their profiteering or face direct citizen action. Complaints have mounted in recent weeks that operators were doing as they please to the detriment of bathers.

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