Exclusion Periods for Common Infectious Illnesses


Inclubation period

Infectious period

Exclusion period

Chicken pox

13 – 17 days

1 – 2 days before rash appears until all spots scabbed over (usually 5-7 days)

When all spots are scabbed over (minimum of 5 days from rash)


12 hrs to 3 days

As long as symptoms are present

No exclusion for mild cases. More severe cases may be excluded until discharge is controlled

Gastroenteritis /

Diarrhoea & vomiting

A few hours to a few days

Not always infectious

Until free of symptoms for 48 hours

Hand, foot & mouth disease

3 – 5 days

4 – 6 days

No exclusion for mild cases.  

Slapped cheek 

4 – 14 days

7 – 10 days before rash appears then no longer infectious.

None (as no longer infectious once it is diagnosed)


4 – 10 days

While the spots are discharging pus

Once the lesions have crusted or healed or 48 hours after starting antibiotic treatment

Cold sores 2 – 12 days While ‘active’ cold sore is present Not needed. Avoid kissing and contact with the sores.

Unexplained diarrhoea and/or vomiting (e.g. car sickness, teething, coughing etc.)



At manager’s discretion: (if there are other cases of D and/or V, the child may be excluded as a precaution)

Please note that the nursery reserve the right to refuse entry to a child whom they believe is unwell enough to attend or who may be infectious to the other children.

This policy was reviewed in November 2021.