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European Parliament cancels Strasbourg session over COVID red zone classification

People wait in line to be tested for the COVID-19 outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
People wait in line to be tested for the COVID-19 outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Tuesday, May 12, 2020.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias
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The European Parliament President has decided to cancel all travel to the second seat in Strasbourg next week.

The move comes after discussions with the French authorities after the city was declared a red zone following a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Parliament President David Sassoli lamented the situation, reiterating that the monthly session held in Strasbourg is written into European treaties.

"While we are very disappointed about this decision, we have to consider that the transfer of the administration of the European Parliament would entail quarantine for all staff upon their return to Brussels," Sassoli said in a statement.

The next session slated for 14-17 September will take place in the Brussels seat of the European parliament.

The question of moving thousands of MEPs and staff members from Brussels to Strasbourg has often been the subject of controversy over both the financial and environmental cost.