Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced "hundreds of thousands" of essential workers will soon be required to be vaccinated in order to keep working.
From October 15, all workers on the Authorised Worker list will be required to have their first dose of a Covid vaccine in order to continue working on site. They will need to be fully vaccinated by November 26. The rule applies to both Melbourne and regional Victorians.
"We want to take you through some important decisions that have been made this morning and they will relate to literally hundreds of thousands of Victorians," Andrews said when making the announcement on Friday.
"They are not about stopping people going to work. They are about making sure we can open up. They are about making sure people can go to work, that they can be safe, and that we can defend and deliver our roadmap for opening. That is what the national plan is all about."
The current Authorised Worker list covers dozens of different professions, such as firefighters, marriage celebrants, personal trainers, interpreters, some retail workers, and roadside assistance workers.
The October 15 deadline will not apply to workers who already have existing vaccine requirements, such as those in construction, freight, healthcare, aged care and education.
The announcement followed the recording of 1143 new local cases of Covid-19 and three deaths in the state.
Following yesterday's spike in new infections, a Melbourne doctor warned case numbers could "double and double again" if people don't follow lockdown rules.
"I would not be surprised if we see 6000 cases a day towards the end of next week or the week after," Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, from Altona North Respiratory Clinic, told Nine News.
He said he hoped the daily cases wouldn't get much higher than what was seen on Thursday, but "in reality, they will probably double and double again".
Haikerwal said cases would likely rise as the state got closer to its 80 per cent double dose vaccination target, adding vaccination rates needed to go beyond that and strong testing rates and contact tracing needed to remain in place.
However, he said there was a way to avoid cases soaring.
"The way of stopping that is to remember we have put the hard yards in already, 230 days in lockdown. We have to keep far away from each other and get to the end of the golden mile," he said.
Head of University of Melbourne's School of Population and Global Health, Professor Nancy Baxter, told the ABC that Victoria's planned easing of restrictions as vaccine rates get higher might be delayed if case numbers continue to climb.
"Things that we do now have a direct effect on what life is going to be like when we reach that 80 per cent," she said.
Andrews has hinted the government may have to modify its reopening plans if the outbreak gets worse.
"We are not turning back, we are finding a way to push through and get this place open, we've got to do it. This is a plan to open up," he said on Thursday.
"However, it would be irresponsible for me to say that we wouldn't for instance have to pause, we wouldn't have to modify things. It isn't sustainable for people to act like we've hit 70 per cent double dose when we've yet to hit 50 per cent double dose.''