Health and education sector leaders in the Bay are awaiting more detail on the newly announced mandatory vaccinations.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the deadline for health and disability workers to become fully vaccinated is December 1 this year, while all staff at schools and ECEs who have contact with children and students will need to have both doses by January 1.
A full list of roles the mandate would apply to is expected in the next few days.
Rotorua Principals Association president Gary Veysi said at this stage it was a "what if" situation.
He wanted certainty around how schools would be able to determine whether staff had been double vaccinated from next year.
Veysi, who is also the Mamaku School principal, said the mandate was the "only way" to return to normal teaching and learning.
Western Bay of Plenty Principals Association president Suzanne Billington said principals were awaiting further detail on the mandate from the Ministry of Education.
Three Lakes Medical Clinic general practitioner Dr Cate Mills said while she understood the Government's decision, it was a "pretty tough call" regarding personal choice.
She said it was important to the viability of the health sector and to "really protect" healthcare workers.
Tauranga's Fifth Avenue pharmacy owner Stuart MacDonald said he believed every healthcare worker should be vaccinated, but he expected there would be a kickback from a "small subsection" of individual pharmacists.
All pharmacists within his business were already fully vaccinated, he said.
Meanwhile, Royal NZ College of GPs president Samantha Murton told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning that mandated vaccines were going to come eventually anyway and it was better to introduce them as soon as they could.
Vaccines were available to all healthcare workers anyway but now it was the factor that staff "must" have it. She expected a little push back "but it won't be massive".
As for vaccine-adverse people, Murton said people had different opinions. People still got sick even if they had a good diet and treatment needed to be available.
Murton said there would be people who would give up their job.
Top epidemiologist Rod Jackson said he would not be making Christmas holiday plans unless the country got to a 95 per cent vaccination rate by early December.
So far, just under 82 per cent of eligible Kiwis have had their first dose - that number is more than 86 per cent in Auckland.
"I don't think I'd been making plans to leave home [for Christmas holidays], unless the Government brings in a much wider mandate [to vaccinate workers]," Jackson said.
"We need everyone vaccinated before December, and if we got 95 per cent of the population vaccinated by December... yeah, then you can have a holiday."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday extended Auckland's level 3 Covid restrictions for another week and delayed the start of the school term, due to start on Monday, as the region continues to battle against the Delta outbreak.
The outlook is slightly brighter for Waikato and Northland, with tentative plans to bring the regions out of level 3 - to level 2 - from 11.59pm on Thursday.
The moves come after 35 cases were announced - all in Auckland, and the number of unlinked cases in the past fortnight increased by nine to 58.
This number was down to seven when Auckland moved out of level 4 nearly three weeks ago.
The number of people in hospital also increased by four to 33 yesterday, including a child at Starship Hospital. Seven people are in ICU.