If schools are to reopen on August 11, it’s essential that they do so only if all measures necessary to keep staff and pupils safe are in place.

The UK has been hit harder by Covid than anywhere else in Europe, with Scotland ‘faring well’ only in comparison to England.

If we get reopening wrong, it risks further waves of lockdown and more avoidable deaths.

Children and young people may be at less risk from the virus, but they are not immune. It can still have a devasting long-term effect on their health, and there is growing evidence that teenagers are effective spreaders, partly because they themselves often do not show symptoms whilst infectious.

And pupils are not the only ones in schools. Staff deserve a safe working environment, and wider communities, including pupils’ vulnerable family members, should be confident that schools will not become centres of new outbreaks.

The Scottish Government’s reopening plans are, at the time of writing this column, muddled.

No social distancing between pupils in primary schools, but staff must maintain a distance – and in secondaries, social distancing is recommended, whilst schools are simultaneously instructed not to do anything which would reduce the number of pupils who can attend.

How can you spread pupils out when your already overcrowded classrooms are no bigger than they were in March?

Masks will not be required in primary or secondary, despite anyone over five rightly having to wear one for short visits to the shops or on a bus.

Why is a full day in class safer than a shopping trip? Where is the evidence that masks aren’t required in high schools in particular?

Most significantly, there are as yet no plans to adopt the Greens’ proposal for regular testing of school staff and older pupils, despite this having been vital to containing the virus elsewhere. ‘Enhanced surveillance testing’ isn’t enough. Teachers deserve regular testing to ensure their safety, just as care workers did.

I’m particularly concerned for vulnerable staff and pupils and those with vulnerable family members. Health boards, for example, have been told to conduct risk assessments for their staff from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, given the increased risk those communities face from the virus. The Scottish Greens have called for schools to do the same.

Schools can reopen safely but, in the rush to reopen full time, I’m concerned that important measures are being missed.