Nicola Sturgeon has said that the final decision about moving to level 0 on July 19 will be made on Tuesday morning before she makes her announcement in Parliament.

The First Minister is scheduled to confirm the next stage of easing Covid restrictions on Tuesday July 13.

In her press briefing this afternoon, Ms Sturgeon said she very much "hoped" that the planned move to level 0 could still go ahead on July 19. 

However, she was firm that even if the country did move to the lowest level of restrictions, Scotland would not be replicating England in the abandoning of baseline measures such as mask wearing. 

What did we learn from Nicola Sturgeon's press briefing this afternoon? 

The First Minister started by confirming the number of Covid cases in Scotland, the number of people in hospital and the number of deaths. 

During the briefing, Ms Sturgeon drew comparisons between Scotland and England's plans for easing lockdown, noting that England's plans to abandon all baseline Covid restrictions were "something of an exception". 

England's "freedom" day is fast approaching, which will see the country drop all Covid restrictions in a mass return to "normality". 

Meanwhile, Scotland plans to move to level 0 on the same day with many restrictions remaining in place. 

The Scottish Governement has already suggested that it was likely some baseline measures could stay in place even after August 9, the date outlined to lift most restrictions in Scotland. 

Ms Sturgeon said that decisions around schools and travel are still to be made, although there could be discussion surrounding these matters on Tueaday. 

She highlighted that te Scottish Government was keen to take its time in making decisions to give them more chance of getting the decisions right.

What is the likelihood we will move to level 0 on July 19?

Nicola Sturgeon said she was hopeful that the plans to move to level 0 on Juy 19 will go ahead. 

She credited taking time to make decisions, stating that if they had confirmed the plans to move to level 0 earlier this week, the decision may have been more negative that she hoped it could be next week now that case rates are declining. 

In response to a question on the further easing of restrictions on August 9, she said she remained hopeful that their plans to drop the major remaining restrictions could take place. 

However, she added that it was important not to "jump a step" and said the Scottish Government would continue to closley analyse the case numbers and hospitalisations. 

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