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UK News

Churches could get temporary radio licenses to host drive-in services

by Heather Preston

Ofcom is reviewing whether to grant temporary radio broadcasting licenses to churches to allow congregations to come together while still observing social distancing.

On Wednesday, Ofcom updated its licensing information to offer guidance to those wishing to hold drive-in movies and church events during the pandemic.

The regulator stated that it has had a number of requests regarding short term licenses for drive-in events over the past two months.

Granting churches a 'restricted service license' would allow parishoners to listen to the service through their FM car radios without breaching lockdown restrictions.

Ofcom has announced that it is waiving the usual 60 day notice period for licence applications and promises to "process applications quickly", aiming to respond to applicants within two weeks in a bid to help communities gather for worship. But it clarified that the laws and guidance over events being held will differ across the UK depending on the progress of the pandemic. 

Its website states: "In granting any licence, however, we are not authorising the event itself. It is for licensees to ensure that any events are permissible under Covid-19-related laws and guidance."

Applications can be made via the Ofcom website.

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