By Villamor Visaya Jr., Philippine News Agency stringer and Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent

CITY OF CAUAYAN โ€” Inter-regional public bus travel to and from Metro Manila, such as at the SM Transport Terminal-Cauayan and other regional terminals in the region, resumed operations on Saturday (Christmas Day).

The buses were given a point-to-point system, which prohibits them from picking up or dropping off passengers out of their allowed destination, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Cagayan Valley has reported.

Passengers were asked to book for reservation at terminals, present full vaccination cards and ensure that they do not carry the virus.

The point-to-point bus travel routes in the region have Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) special permits as part of the control measures being enforced by the government especially that the COVID-19 Omicron variant has been spotted in the country, LTFRB regional head Edward Cabase said in a statement.

The permitted travels came after a series of dry runs across the regionโ€™s terminals.

The LTFRB has ordered buses to abide by the special permit conditions prior to, during and after operations, which include the health and safety provisions as outlined by Department of Transportation and aligned with the protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Department of Health to ensure safety of passengers as well as the bus personnel. The Board has also directed point-to-point drivers to use face masks and gloves aside from thorough and regular disinfection of the buses and bus terminals. Fifty percent capacity of the buses have been allowed for social distancing.#