Experts are optimistic the latest Australian Omicron wave is easing, after COVID-19 case numbers dropped on Sunday to an eight-month low, and hospitalisations continued to fall. Australia recorded 5,841 cases on Sunday, with 2,701 people hospitalised with the virus, a steep drop from the 50,000 daily cases recorded during some of the worst days in July. As COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and ICU numbers drop in Australia, experts say we can look overseas to gain an understanding of what may lie ahead of us in the summer. Deakin University Chair in Epidemiology Professor Catherine Bennett said South Africa's low hospitalisation rate may be good news for Australia. The Omicron BA-5 variant hit South Africa first, so the country experienced the latest wave before Australia. "South Africa had a BA-5 wave two months before us, and they're not seeing any waning immunity yet," Professor Bennett said. "Most importantly, their hospitalisation rate, those numbers are [now] down to levels they haven't seen [for a long time]." Professor Bennett said that if we don't see another subvariant hitting places like South Africa, we may not need a booster over summer. While it may not be necessary if no new variant rears its head, Australia now has an Omicron-specific booster heading our way. Professor Bennett said it's a good option "to have up our sleeve", especially when things can change quickly. The new Omicron booster is expected to arrive in Australia in the coming weeks. "If you compare someone who gets the Moderna booster, with someone who gets this new vaccine, their boost in neutralising anti-bodies is almost double," Professor Bennett said. "It depends how you measure it, but overall it's a 100 per cent increase in neutralising antibodies." The new booster could be enough to help stave off another wave of BA.5, if necessary, as Omicron is likely to hang around, she said. Other news: "And if we see another sub-variant come along, or another variant all together, this will have broadened our immunity to help provide additional protection," she said. While many COVID-19 measures have eased around the country, it's likely that some precautions, like masks in aged care settings and on public transport, may stick around for the long run. "I think they'll stay, perhaps forever, and certainly over winters," Professor Bennett said.