Ofcom to license drive-in movies and church services

Drive-in movie and church service event organisers could be granted temporary radio licences by Ofcom to allow film lovers and congregations to come together while observing social distancing.

Ofcom has updated its licensing information to offer guidance to individuals or organisations who may wish to hold these types of events. They require a “restricted service licence” from Ofcom, so that people in their cars can hear the film soundtrack, or what is being said, on their FM car radios.

Given the current coronavirus pandemic, Ofcom is waiving the usual 60-day notice period for licence applications. It will also process applications quickly, with the aim of providing an answer to applicants within two weeks of it being received.

Ofcom says that it recognised that these events may be a way for communities and congregations to enjoy a film or to worship, while still observing social distancing. In granting any licence, however, Ofcom says that it is not authorising the event itself. It is for licensees to ensure that any events are permissible under Covid-19-related laws and guidance. For further information, click here.