A ROMSEY business owner has claimed to have lost £1,000 in party bookings after the Government rolled out its new "rule of six" law.

As reported, the number of people that can attend social gatherings was slashed to six in England following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases across the UK.

The new law, which started on Monday (September 14), means that gatherings of more than six people will be illegal.

Now, Katie Betteridge, who runs I Wanna Be... role play village in Abbotswood Common Road, has said the new law is a "kick in the teeth" after her business reopened on August 27.

The mum-of-two said: "I had to cancel six parties, which were worth £1,000, because of the new rule of six that came into force on Monday. "We have just reopened and then we had all of these people come to us saying 'would you host our party', so this change [in the law] is another kick in the teeth.

"It is heart-breaking for the children because they have gone through quite a lot over the last six months and for them to do something normal would have been really nice."

Katie, 47, added she understood why the new law was implemented but stressed it is "another setback for our industry" after shutting down in March and being told on August 13 children's play centres could reopen, while most businesses were already open before indoor play centres.

She branded the new law as a "triple whammy" for I Wanna Be... role play village and claims "a lot of children will suffer" if more indoor activity centres go bust as a result of the new rules.

However, Katie did highlight she can still take bookings for groups of six, adding her customers "were lovely and completely understanding" after being told on Monday their parties were cancelled.

She said: "There might be some light at the end of the tunnel for us, but at least we are still able to remain open."

Katie also received a £750 Business Incentive Grant by Test Valley Borough Council on Friday (September 11), which she was "extremely grateful" for after she set up her business on February 7.

To find out more about I Wanna Be... role play village and to make a booking, visit https://iwannabe.co.uk/.

The Department of Health & Social Care has been contacted for comment.