MEPs won't yet be returning to Strasbourg due to rising coronavirus infections in France, the European Parliament speaker said Monday, despite a plea by President Emmanuel Macron.
The parliament has its headquarters in Strasbourg in eastern France, where MEPs usually based in Brussels travel every month for 12 plenary sessions a year.
But these have been cancelled since March due to concerns over spreading the virus and transferred to Brussels, where the parliament also has a chamber.
In September, "it was agreed that parliament would return to holding its regular part-sessions in Strasbourg once the conditions allow," parliamentary speaker David Sassoli said in a statement.
Hopes a 5-8 October session would take place there had been heightened by Mr Macron who insisted sessions be restored from next month.
"I'm counting on you," he wrote in a letter to Sassoli.
But in a statement, the speaker said the transfer would not go ahead next week, "given the increased rate of transmission of the virus in France, including in Bas-Rhin (where Strasbourg is located), and in light of public health considerations."
He said he hoped "we will soon be able to return" but stressed the next session would take place in Brussels.