A new Guardia Civil task force has been formed to stop illegal house parties in rural areas over the festive period in the Valencian Community.

The unit will carry out surveillance operations to spot any suspicious behaviour that could be part of organising a clandestine celebration aimed at guests from cities and towns.

The measure is part of a package to enforce rules aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus in what is currently one of the most infectious regions in Spain.

Ten thousand Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional officers are being deployed to ensure that measures are being observed, as rule enforcement gets stepped up, according to the government delegate for the region.

The delegation, through Gloria Calero, represents the national government and has power over security forces in Valencia.

The Guardia are in charge in maintaining the Valencian border closure and are doing so in three shifts over a 24-hour period.

Extra officers and new checkpoints on roads into the Community from Murcia, Catalunya, Aragon, and Castilla- La Mancha have been deployed.

Law enforcement unions have been critical in recent weeks that they have not had enough staff to make sure the restrictions are being observed, with checkpoints seemingly non-existent on many occasions.

The delegation says that 6,000 Guardia officers have been used on border patrols since the closure at the end of October, with 9,173 people sanctioned for rule-breaking.

It also claims that Guardia officer presence will be increased by 50% in shopping centres and around hospitality businesses to make sure that capacity limits are not broken.

No mention has been made as to where the extra officers are coming from or what is being done to make sure that other crimes will be dealt with as normal.

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