The phrase “Happy New Year” is a cliché. But at least one downtown Wilmington nightclub is leaning on both parts of that saying.
On Thursday, Wilmington Ibiza’s longtime dance club, 118 Market St., announced it would require all patrons to prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The policy begins “with immediate effect”, according to a press release sent by the club.
“We value our role in the community and remain committed to doing our part to reduce the spread of the coronavirus,” the statement said, adding that the new requirement is “to ensure the safety of our community, our customers, our staff and facilitators.”
The statement also said all patrons must wear masks “unless actively drinking” and that this limits capacity.
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Reaction on the club’s Facebook page was mixed, with some supporting the decision and others decrying it.
Charles Smith, who has been Ibiza’s chief executive for five years, said the bar actually required proof of a vaccine when it reopened after the pandemic in April, but relaxed the requirement when the number of COVID-19 cases had dropped.
“The latest push of the omicron variant,” Smith said, prompted the club to reinstate the policy.
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This is an extremely rare policy among bars or businesses of any kind in Wilmington. In most cities where it’s common to require proof of vaccinations, a photo of a person’s vaccination card on their phone will pass through most facilities, and Smith said an “electronic copy” of the Vaccination cards will be accepted in Ibiza if the name on the card matches the name on the ID.
Ibiza has been downtown since 2001 and is known for hosting drag shows and dance parties.
Tickets for Ibiza New Year’s Eve can be purchased at Ibiza.ticketspice.com/nye2022 or IbizaWilmington.com.
Contact John Staton at 910-343-2343 or [email protected]