Hand sanitiser and regular cleaning of touchpoints will be part of a new way of travelling when Rotorua school buses return to the streets on Monday.
The Ministry operates 55 daily bus services across Rotorua and Tauranga.
Of those, 28 are in Tauranga and 27 are in Rotorua, predominantly in rural areas where there is no public transport. Of those, 31 service multiple schools.
Head of education infrastructure Kim Shannon told the Rotorua Daily Post that when physical distancing was not always practical, hygiene requirements were the key priority.
"Just as schools will be provided with hand sanitiser for the classroom, hand sanitisers will also be available on every vehicle for the students to use when getting on and off."
She said the ministry was satisfied buses would be "managed safely" with hygiene practices and the Ministry of Transport's cleaning guidelines "with all touchpoints cleaned after each journey (twice daily)".
"We understand some families may be anxious about their children using school transport for the first time in a while and may prefer to make other arrangements, and we respect that choice."
Rotorua mother Merekara Gardiner has "full faith" Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rotoiti "will do whatever they need to to keep our kids following the rules and using hand sanitiser as much as possible".
Her 10-year-old son, Te Rangiwawahia Hohepa-Gardiner, will return to school on the bus on Monday after learning from home online for weeks.
"My hope is that the kids stick to the advice but they're primary school kids, it is different to high school where they know a lot more."
Robbie White lives in the Lake Rotomā Rotoehu area and his daughter Rose, 16, took the bus to Rotorua Lakes High School each day, until lockdown.
He said she would "probably" continue learning from home for another week from Monday.
"Our youngest daughter is immunocompromised with respiratory issues so that has been a worry ... It is what it is, we have just got to be procedure-based with things like hand-washing."
In his opinion, it would be "virtually impossible" to keep kids spaced out at school and on buses when adults in charge were "so outnumbered".
Ritchies operates Rotorua Girls' High School's buses.
Assistant principal Gary Dender told the Rotorua Daily Post said the transport provider has been "getting the details of all the students on buses for contact tracing purposes".
Principal Sarah Davis said the school had "followed all of the guidelines sent out and they've been comprehensive".
"Our core business now is teaching and learning and health and safety - health and safety has gone right up to the top of our thinking," she added.
"The buses are just part of what's been a big lot of work but we are looking forward to Monday. It's been a long eight weeks."