Updated 2.54pm

After two truckloads of deck chairs and umbrellas were confiscated from Qawra Point in an enforcement action yesterday, the situation was back to square one this morning with more beach furniture adorning the beach.

A reader submitted the photo above showing the scene at 8am this morning. She pointed out that locals had to place their belongings on a wet cement slab and the rest of the space was taken by the deck chairs.

READ: Qawra Point operator shut down after defying beach furniture orders

In a statement issued at 2.30pm, the Malta Tourism Authority said the operator has now been forced to shut down and fined €5,000, after MTA and Lands Authority inspectors confirmed that the operator "had continued with the provision of illegal deckchairs."

Yesterday’s operation was conducted by the Malta Tourism Authority and the Lands Authority.

The action was taken shortly after Times of Malta wrote of swimmers' frustration at finding Għadira Bay cluttered with deck chairs as early as 6.30am.

But the Malta Tourism Authority clarified this morning that deck chair operators at Għadira Bay did not operate a 'hire on demand' system.

The bay was sectioned back in 2012 and concessions were given for 15 years with permission to place deck chairs and umbrellas within designated parameters. One area in the middle of the bay, the MTA said, had been cleared and remained so.

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

Entrepreneurs filling public beaches with private deck chairs and umbrellas for hire have been warned by activists to stop their profiteering or face direct citizen action. 

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