IT'S a key question after a month stuck inside: Can I grab a pint down the pub?

Well, with Essex braced to enter Tier 2 from Wednesday, the answer is thankfully: Yes.

However, there is a catch.

Pubs and bars are only allowed to stay open if they are operating as restaurants.

This means alcohol may only be served with a “substantial meal.”

What is considered a substantial meal, I hear you ask?

Well, the Government’s defines a substantial meal as ‘a full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal’.

So, in other terms, a main course - rather than a side or starter.

Can I meet my mate who I don't live with?

Sadly, no.

This is because, under the new Tier 2 laws, you cannot meet up with anyone outside either your household or bubble in an indoor setting - be it a public or private place.

So while you can visit a restaurant for a meal with the family or friends you live with, group trips to the pub will have to stay on hold for now.

Outdoors, household mixing will be permitted in line with the Rule of Six (maximum of six people).

When do pubs need to close?

Under the new laws, later than before.

The previous 10pm curfew has been extended. With last orders now at 10pm, and venues required to close from 11pm until at least 5am.