Bahamas bars American tourists, Home Depot requires masks: 5 things you need to know Wednesday

Editors, USA TODAY
·4 min read

American tourists barred from the Bahamas in coronavirus battle

Three weeks after opening its borders to tourists, the Bahamas has barred American tourists from entering due to COVID-19. Starting Wednesday, international flights and commercial vessels carrying passengers will not be permitted to enter the borders with an exception for flights from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union. The situation in the Bahamas has deteriorated "at an exponential rate” since the country reopened its international borders" on July 1, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a national address Sunday. Minnis blamed, without specifying, nearby countries' handling of the COVID-19 pandemic "still raging around the world."

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Home Depot joins retailers requiring face masks amid COVID-19 resurgence

Another retailing heavyweight is weighing in on the national mask-wearing issue. Home Depot will now require all shoppers wear face coverings inside its U.S. stores beginning Wednesday. Home Depot joins a slew of retailers including Walmart, Target, CVS, and Walgreens to mandate masks at stores nationwide as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks and facial coverings as a way to prevent the spread of the virus, but some consider mask mandates a violation against their constitutional rights.

Watch for Comet Neowise before it disappears for 6,800 years

Newly discovered Comet Neowise is paying a visit to the inner solar system for the first time in 6,800 years and will be its closest to Earth on Wednesday. To see the comet, start looking about one hour after sunset, and you’ll find it just over the northwest horizon as the last of twilight fades into darkness. Look about three fists below the “bowl” of the Big Dipper, which is hanging by its handle high above, and a little to the right. Although it's visible with the naked eye, a simple telescope or pair of binoculars can reveal more details, especially when it is seen before twilight in the morning or after twilight in the evening. The comet will be visible to skywatchers here on Earth through mid-August.

Queen Elizabeth's husband Prince Philip to make rare public appearance

After a rare public glimpse at his granddaughter's surprise wedding, Prince Philip will make another public appearance on Wednesday. The 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II for more than seven decades, will appear in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle for the ceremonial handover of his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles military regiment. His daughter-in-law, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall will inherit the position. Camilla is a controversial figure in British royalty because of the role she played in the breakup of Prince Charles' marriage to the late Princess Diana in the 1990s but has gradually gained in public acceptance since she married Charles, the queen’s heir, in 2005.

Tropical depression forms in Atlantic Ocean; forecasters watching another system in the Gulf of Mexico

A tropical depression formed Tuesday afternoon in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, forecasters from the National Hurricane Center said. It is one of two systems that forecasters are watching. If its wind speed reaches 39 mph, it would become Tropical Storm Gonzalo, the seventh named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. The other system, in the Gulf of Mexico, has a 40% chance of developing into a depression or storm within the next five days, according to the hurricane center. "This system is expected to ... move over the central Gulf on Wednesday, and reach the northwestern Gulf on Thursday and Friday," the hurricane center said. Meanwhile, far out in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Douglas is forecast to become a hurricane late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus, Bahamas, Home Depot, Prince Phillip, Comet Neowise: 5 things to know Wednesday