Michael Caines, chef-owner of venues including the Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor in Devon, is backing a campaign encouraging people working in the hospitality industry to have the Covid-19 vaccination.
Visit Devon and the NHS in Devon are jointly urging workers to take up the offer of the jab following outbreaks in other parts of the country among young people working in hospitality settings.
Now that all adults are eligible and with cases of the more transmissible Delta variant rising locally, Visit Devon is advising businesses to support their staff to take up the vaccination to ensure a safe working environment and give visitors confidence during their stay, as well as to subdue the spread of the virus.
Caines said: "As one of the sectors that have been most affected by coronavirus, it is imperative that our employees get vaccinated to protect their colleagues and our guests, and to stop the spread.
"With the potential relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions it is even more so important for our industry to be responsive to the vaccination programme and to ensure the continuing reopening of the economy, our industry and the return to normality."
Visit Devon director Sally Everton said: "The last 16 months have been incredibly tough for the hospitality industry and staffing remains a constant pressure. Our businesses can't afford to have further closures due to Covid-19 outbreaks among staff. We urge everyone working within our local hospitality businesses to have the vaccine to protect themselves, their colleagues, their customers and the businesses themselves.
"We're also asking employers to support their staff to have the vaccine, either by having time off for the jab itself or if they feel unwell due to side effects."
Devon's primary care medical director Alex Degan added: "It is really important to take up the Covid-19 vaccination to protect yourself and your loved ones and to help end lockdown restrictions. Having both doses can protect you against circulating variants, including the more transmissible Delta variant. It also reduces your likelihood of developing long Covid, which affects people of all ages."