A CUL-DE-SAC has been split into two different tiers of restrictions after a plan to raise the Covid alert in Essex was given the green light.

Vast parts of the county were told today that they will move from the ‘medium’ alert tier into ‘high’ alert, which will see additional rules put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.

But Southend has ruled out joining the move for now and is set to remain in the ‘medium’ tier.

It will see households in Hamilton Close, Leigh, split, with one end falling into Southend Council territory and the other in Castle Point, which is overseen by Essex County Council.

>> BREAKING: Essex expected to enter Tier 2 Covid restrictions from Saturday

Even more bizarrely, resident Graham Bishop said he will technically have different restrictions in place for different parts of his garden, which straddles the border.

The 80-year-old, whose house comes under Southend’s boundary, said: “It is strange that I have about two yards of my garden come under Castle Point, but the majority of it falls into Southend. Does this mean I can have people in one part of my garden but not another if Essex moves up a tier?

“If it happens and I want to have a coffee with someone from up the road, I can invite them to mine but I can’t go there.

“The people at the end of the road are trapped in the cul-de-sac if we end up with more restrictions, they have to go into Southend to get out.

“If people are going to break the rules, they’re going to break the rules – I’m not sure a ban on people mixing indoors will make much difference.

“We’ve got to be sensible, I’ve lived here 47 years and have never seen anything like this.”

Neighbour Amelia Burnett, 41, added: “My house comes under Southend, but from around house five or six that’s when it becomes Castle Point.

“It is confusing, but at this stage we have to do something, we all just want this horrible virus to be over.”

Southend Mayor John Lamb said now is the perfect opportunity for bosses to rethink boundary lines amid the latest confusion – a move which has already been mooted in the past.

He said: “We’ve got to be sensible – we can’t be hard and fast and about it, we need to be flexible.

“These people are neighbours and those at the end are going to walk into Southend where restrictions could be less strict.

“We will work together to look after everyone, whether they’re under the county council or Southend Council.”

A 52-year-old resident, who falls under the Castle Point boundary and wished to remain anonymous, said: “I work in a school where I’m mixing with everyone, but if we go up a tier I can’t do this at home.

“I don’t think I’ll be taking much notice of it. Moving up a tier is bonkers- the death rates just don’t justify it. It’s ridiculous.”

A 19-year-old resident, who wished to remain anonymous and comes under Castle Point, added: “It’s just so confusing. The council needs to issue clear advice about what we’re supposed to do. I only found it about it through the news.”