THE country seems to be holding its breath.

The latest stage of the easement of the lockdown started on Saturday with pubs, hotels, restaurants and seaside attractions being allowed to open.

For some it is a financial lifeline. For months, these venues have had to remain closed as the country was gripped by the coronavirus pandemic and were left kicking their heels waiting for a time when they could open their doors again.

For others, there is a sense of dread.

We know we are teetering on the edge of the all-important 1 “R rating” and if that spills over, we go back to square one and begin another crippling lockdown.

Businesses will be hoing we avoid a local lockdown, like in Leicester.

For their part, pubs are doing what they can. In Tendring, we know they are asking for bookings, are introducing reduced numbers and hygiene measures.

But there is only so much they can do - it is down to the individuals who go out.

They must get the balance right of having a good time, but without generating another spike in coronavirus cases.

All our lives are in their hands.