Authorities will soon have a new weapon at their disposal in the fight against COVID-19: fines for those who flout guidelines.

The Diet on Wednesday passed two bills that allow authorities to levy financial punishments on individuals and businesses that violate the government's antivirus measures.

Once they go into force, it will be possible to levy financial penalties on businesses that refuse local government orders to shorten their hours of operation under a state of emergency and individuals who refuse to be hospitalized or tested for the novel coronavirus.